A few post-Christmas words by my dad…..
Christmas is a time for giving. When you get past childhood, it is also then a time for remembering the good times we all had when we were growing up. The excitement and anticipation of perhaps seeing Old Nick in the middle of the night bearing wonderful presents when we were little, was what every child dreams of.
Now we are creeping into the New Year we perhaps are thankful that it’s all over for another year.
And, what about our New Year’s resolutions? Can we keep them for more than a month or so? If I have ever made any important ones they certainly faded within a short time. One which will not fade or diminish in any way is the family’s wish that Jane’s deterioration will miraculously turn around. However, we know we are closer to losing her than we all would like. Like the sword of Damocles, the end is hanging there ready to fall at a moment’s notice.
She remains isolated and uncompromisingly desolate in her strange little world of blurred memories and thoughts. Her Alice in Wonderland life is not one of adventure of a white rabbit, a nasty queen and tea parties, but one of a smiling Cheshire cat waiting to pounce – disturbing her muddled mind even more than it is at the moment. She is unable to reach the golden key on the high table to open the door to a happier life.
I’ve come down for 4-5 days to stay with Sarah and family and will be going home fairly soon. Unfortunately, it will be to a cold house without the smells of freshly baked bread or “cakes” ready to come out of the oven. Although the food is cooked on-site in the care home, Jane often doesn’t manage to eat much of it. She may only have a few sips of soup and a mouthful of yogurt to keep her going. Long gone are the days when she and I would enjoy delicious 3-course dinners with an occasional bottle of wine.
There seems to be a few new faces in the home but of course when one passes on another poor soul requiring care arrives.
I sometimes think it is strange how readily I have accepted this dreadful turn of fate that has disturbed our lives in such a dramatic fashion. How easy it is to worm its way back into the corners of one’s brain and lie there undisturbed until you find a coat, a scarf, a pair of shoes or her favourite bottle of perfume on the dressing table next to your aftershave you bought several years ago and never used. Then the full impact of the ghastly situation strikes and you stagger backwards winded by the blow.
I am a member of the Church of Scotland and my 2019 resolution is to thank God on a regular basis on Sunday mornings for giving me strength to carry on to see Jane – although she cannot “see” me – and give her my love and support. By singing hymns I’ll think of her and those who are no longer here with us like my wonderful parents, my sister Ann and my best friend Graham.
Father Christmas is real. He lives within us all and reminds us that giving presents throughout the year to those in need – whether it is just being kind and thoughtful to others or giving a pound to a stranger sitting outside a shop front with a dog and a blanket – is the right thing to do. Come on children….turn off your phones and your fancy computers, your Xboxes and YBoxes for a while and look for the Father Christmas that lies within you. Give the gifts that are important; your time, your love, your kindness, your curiosity and your sparkle to those that love you and to those less fortunate than you. It will all help to make the world a much better place.
I sometimes wish that we could turn back time and change the course of events that
will come about but when I’m in church I will think of the present and of Jane and how she is now and accept “our lot” and remember those who have gone and those much less fortunate than myself.
As Sarah says at the end of her monthly progress notes – miss you mum.
love to all. x