Friday, 5 June 2009

More changes in our lives........

This is a picture of my dad, which I took recently, after his move to a residential home.

This inevitably is a great change in all our lives in the family, for my sister and family, my cousins, and dad's grandchildren.
At Christmas dad was quite ill and I looked after him for 4 weeks. two weeks at his home and two at ours.
He has always taken his bouts of illness in whatever form straight on the chin, no messing. He would go into hospital like it was a routine event, and then proceed to tell the doctors and nurses he was "fine"!!

I have inevitably, spent a lot of time away since Christmas, as I had to call out the ambulance in March when I was there after he had been ill again, at midnight. I did not like driving after it at 70 mph to the hospital.
I felt very alone.

And all those thoughts of emergency vehicles and ambulances which I push down in my mind when I drive on the M6 came flooding back............
Dad then had to go into repite care, and it is a lovely place, where the staff are very caring. He looks better now than he has for a long time.

Which brings me to the point of writing all this!!!
Having managed to find him this place, with the help of my cousins, and all the whirlwind of activity that went with it, I had been away from home again a total of 7 weeks since January.

I began to feel the weight of grief again...........

I felt a sense of loss as I knew that dad would not go back to the home where he had lived for over 40 years, and where my sister and I lived. I knew that all those memories would be locked away when the house, eventually, (not just yet) is sold. I will not know the familiar click of the garden gate as it shuts, the sound the front door makes as it closes, with the rattle of the brass door knocker.
The rhodhodendrons in full bloom, and dad sitting in his arm chair with the clock on the wall ticking loudly.
I will miss all those things......... well perhaps not the loud tick!

So, dad took the decision to stay at the residential home, and he is settling in and enjoying the care, but it came, to him, at an emotional cost. He has had to accept his circumstances.
I admire him for his courage.
We all do.

For me in the tiredness, my own grief, which is always there, surfaced big time. I have missed Matt so much lately, and Stephen too. When the weather is so good, and the days are long and sunny till late in the evening, I can see him in my mind's eye, walking up the garden path from the back his shorts.......enjoying the beautiful endless blue skies and warmth. One of my closest friends texts me on days like these and says "It's a Matt day today".

It reminds me of the hot summer days we had just before he died. So we go on, and it is an act of will to choose life, after such devastation. I understood, in small way this week, why the couple who jumped off Beachy Head, could not live without their son.

But I know that Matt is safe. And I know I will see him again. That is our sure and certain hope, even in the dark times which ebb and flow around us.
I finish with a picture of Matt and my dad, his grandad, at one of dad's favourite pubs. It was taken in 2002.

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