Your Chair is moved Mum.

Remember when our Nannan, your mum went into a home 26years ago? You said if I ever get like that put me in a home. I don’t want to be a burden. We have all said the same recently to our own kids, partners and friends too. But alas mum you’ve  forgotten that conversation, one that has been repeated many times over the years. Remember how  Nannan got a “bit funny“. So funny that she would walk across a busy main road to our house in pitch black with her purse tucked either in her bra or under her arm? She would hide her purse around her home and it would take ages for us to find it. She would forget the day and time and would get angry at you her main carer. Talk about history repeating itself. I recall how it broke my heart on my wedding day when she said “I don’t know who you are lass but you look beautiful and I wish you all the best”. That was the last time I saw her. I have felt guilt ever since that day not seeing her since we got married, I used to see her virtually every day. She was 90 a week after the wedding, I was in honeymoon mode and didn’t visit. But I used to call every day to check how she was.  Then she went into a nursing home a week after that, and you told me not to visit because it wasn’t Nannan. Then she died 2 weeks later. I thought that was tough. But you moving into a nursing home, now that’s tough.  Your room has been personalised, we’ve took some photographs and your chair. So there are familiar items there and we really hope you get some comfort from that. Your bungalow looks spacious and empty without your chair there and it makes it all the more real for Dad. His life’s companion, friend and lover no longer at his side. I know he’s not sleeping , he keeps waking up in the night listening out for you. The void is now physical as well as emotional.
I know you are upset that your six kids had let you down so badly.  Oh we know mum we feel it every second of every day. We know you need 24hour care, I’ve washed and bathed you and cooked and cleaned for you and tried to keep your spirits up. But its hard and we really couldn’t cope any more. Dad was exhausted, that’s replaced by emptiness. I was stressed, worried and yes exhausted too. I felt inadequate. No doubt the feelings you had a quarter of a century ago with Nannan.
So you are in your new home, you seem to have settled. Staff say you are keeping them on their toes and I so believe them! Dad went to see you yesterday and you were happy to see him and chatted and laughed. I came to see you over the weekend with our boy fresh from his trip to France. I must admit I wasn’t sure if he should see you. But your love for your family shone through the hurt and confusion. You talked to him gave him a cuddle and were so pleased to see him. You loved the cup he had brought you from his holiday and he liked it when you kept telling me off for interfering and always having to “shove my nose in and know it all”.
We stayed for around an hour and in the lift he turned to me and said  “God help me when you get like that mum”. In the car he asked a few questions between the snot and the tears I answered as best I could. Explaining that sometimes when we get older our brains revert back to being like children and that’s why there are mood swings and toilet accidents. But its still Nannan and your my mum deep down. And we will still visit and see you in the hope that those blue eyes shine again for us.
So its tough on all parts mum, its tough for you because you are confused, scared and no doubt lonely without your life’s companion by your side. Not forgetting the absence of  the constant stream of visits from us  and phonecalls “just checking”.  Its tough on us explaining to your youngest grandchild that Nannan doesn’t live with grandad anymore she has to live where nurses can look after her all the time, but no she’s not in heaven and yes we can still call it Nannan and Granddad’s house because that’s what it will always be even if Nannan and her chair are not there anymore.
Love you mum see you soon, and hopefully I’ll not get told off today when I visit.

image

This is the rose we dedicated to you and Nannan at the Botanical gardens.
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