Category Archives: Mum

What Goes Around….

For My Mum

A-penny-for-those-thoughts

Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away into the next room

I am I and you are you

Whatever we were to each other

That we are still

Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way you always used

Put no difference into your tone

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

Let it be spoken without effort

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost

One brief moment and all will be as it was before

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Malaya Slides005

Mum,

 2 years ago today you were taken from us.

Two years on the pain of your loss still hurts. especially today.

R.I.P. my lovely Mum, I miss you so much.

Always in my thoughts, forever in my heart

All my love always

xxxx

a-mothers-smile

Two years later, and I’m back where I was when Mum died.

The same restaurant, the same place, the same people….It’s a tradition here that for anniversaries of a loss of a loved one, you go to a church to offer prayers ( which I haven’t managed to do ) and then get balistically drunk, which I intend to do.

It’s been a strange day, being here, reliving those awful days, especially today, looking at the clock, thinking this time two years ago, she only had x amount of hours / minutes left to live…and knowing now, that I had already seen her for the last time…

Sadness, tears, and a general feeling of loss and grief have been my companions for the last few days.

Time to move on, Mum would have hated it to think that she was spoiling our holiday.. so for today I’m wearing black and I will raise my glass ( more than one! ) to my dear lovely Mum.

Tomorrow is another day…..

With special thanks to Christina who has been through so much more than I have, and come through all those dark times, and Kathy, in whose footsteps I now follow.

Thank you to everyone that has written words of support and kindness.

I can’t tell you how much you’ve all helped and how much  I appreciate your kindess

xxx

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Memories Of A Life Passed – Two Years On

Mum in Hospital Feb 2011 

I’ll never forget our last words and sights of my Mum… We were leaving her house about 10pm on the 28th June 2011. We had taken some food round for her, and she had eaten a good hearty meal for a change, and had come to the door to see us off.

She stood there in her night dress, with a light dressing gown draped around her to keep her warm, her thin pale face and white hair, with brown eyes watching as we got ready to go.

I went over and gave her a light hug ( not too hard because of her chest) and told her we would see her soon, it was only three weeks and that I  loved her.

She wished us a happy holiday, and said she hoped we would have a good time. Her last words to me were ” I’m going to miss you two ” I said ” I’m going to miss you too Mum”….

How prophetic that was.

As we got to the top of the drive, I looked back and I could see her standing there, 4ft 11 inches tall, a sad , forlorn, frail old lady who was  probably worried how she was going to manage without us and probably more than a little afraid.

 mum

Two years ago today, 28th June 2011 ( it was a Tuesday), was the last time I saw or spoke to my Mum.

If you’ve read the entries from this time last year, you’ll know the reasons why, if you haven’t I’ll give you a quick resume.

My Mum who was 80, had to have open heart surgery ( risky at any age, but more so for anyone of the age ), to replace a heart valve.

Initially she made an incredible recovery -physically, though there was some evidence of memory loss, but overall she was making good progress….so much so that we arranged to go on holiday for a few weeks , before we knuckled
down to the serious business of primary carers.

I had set up all sorts of procedures so that she would have some contact with somebody every day that we were away, carers, family, etc. and it
was while we were away, that she had a fall and wasn’t discovered for possibly 36 hours.

It wasn’t that serious at first, so much so that my family didn’t even tell me that she fallen, and was in hospital as they knew I would be worried and besides, she wasn’t that ill…

Little did we know.

At some time post op, she had managed to get an infection in her chest bones, they hadn’t knitted together properly, and the infection finally
overcame her on the 14th July, just as we were about to get on a plane and get back home.

My entries from last year tell the story of that awful time, and the aftermath of her death.

 

I’ve had a lot of problems coping with her loss, blaming myself for going on holiday, not being there when she really really needed me, and also for not being able to say goodbye, and being able to tell her how much I really did love her, how much I was going to miss her, and all the other things I had wanted to say but just never got round to.

The first few months after her death were particularly difficult, and I spent most of them in a daze of shock, continuing with my life the routines that I had been involved in before her death, but with one massive exception

– Mum –

and crying a lot.

Tears would come at the most inopportune
times, whilst driving my car, out in the pub, sometimes just talking to friends, and for a period of time I honestly thought I was going to lose it completely and descend in to the dark black hole of depression.

Birthdays and Christmas’s were particularly difficult,  Mum used to phone up and sing Happy Birthday, something I quite liked secretly, and something I miss so so much now.

She would spend hours ( and fortunes ) picking cards for us, studying the words so that the card would convey exactly what she wanted to say,
and this became part of the Christmas or Birthday present-

Again something I miss so much.

We cleared her possessions, all her clothes, shoes, little things that were part of my Mum, then sold the house, it was like erasing her from our lives, and it hurt so much.

 

Now, two years later, my thoughts have come back to those dark July days and the last time I saw her, and these last few weeks have seen all the raw emotions and memories from that time resurfacing.

 

Kathy from Healing From The Loss Of A Parent recently posted an entry “ Living in The Present “ in which she describes her feelings and state of
life after her Mum died.

She talks of living in the past, and of how grief makes you do that, and also of how you can get stuck there. She has emotionally been through what I’m going through now, reading her posts are almost as though I had written them.

Her words and experiences, descriptions of emotions and states of mind and how she has dealt with them  have really helped me. For me, the most important part of her entry is

But true acceptance of what has happened helped me to move forward and move into the
present. I still think about my mom every day. I still miss her. But I am now living again, and living fully in the present. It’s a good place to be, and most of the time I feel at peace.

 

My Mum would not want me to spend the rest of my life in mourning, remember her yes, never forget certainly, but mourn her forever…. no.

She would want me to get on with my life, and enjoy it, rather than existing in a world of shadows and grief.

 

This has got to be my aim, my goal.

If I don’t come out of the shadows

What choice is there for me?…….

I’m going to miss you Mum.

Christmas 2003

Christmas 2003

5th August 2011- Flowers

On the 5th August 2011 we had my Mum’s funeral,

These words were for my Mum on her flowers that day

Mum,

We miss your sounds and your sights

Your laughs and cries

Your sense of humour, your sweetness and kindness,

But most of all we miss you my dear.

No chance now for one last chat

No chance now for one last kiss

No chance now for us to ask you

No chance now for us tell you

Just how much we really love you

And how much we are going to so so miss you

Death is so final, the end for every thing here

No more chats no more chuckles

No more laughs no more struggles

No more pain

Just peace

All your memories 80 years of them,

Gone like snowflakes in the sunlight

Never forgotten, you will always be in our thoughts

Goodbye my love, sleep tight, rest in peace

Until we meet again, all our love , always

 xxx

Rest In Peace My Lovely

Reprise, Regrets and Rememberance

Those who have been through the last 12 months here, will know just how hard this last year has been for me, and for my wife too, looking after me, coping with some pretty wild mood swings, from smiles to tears, to anger in 10 minutes, and making sure that I didn’t do anything “ stupid “ to myself.

 

If you’ve managed to get this far and ploughed through the last week of entries, well done and thank you for your patience.

 

What I have tried to do, is to give you an idea of what it was like for me at that time.

 

The lack of information was awful, sitting on the end of a mobile phone, waiting for it to ring with bad news.. or good even.

 

Because that’s how it was then…Mum went from being a frail old lady who had had a fall and needed a bit of hospital treatment,  to an incurable  terminally ill lady in 10 days.

The information that we were all getting was so up and down, we really didn’t know which way to turn.

 

Poor old Mum went from dying in 24hours – get everybody here as soon as you can –  on Monday morning, to needing a 6-8 weeks course of anti biotics – Tuesday –  to  a regular chest drain every 3-4 days.

 

Even on the 14th July, her last day, 2 hours before she died, the hospital was planning to carry out the chest drain, and were making plans for her future care and rehabilitation.

 

When the end finally came, it was quick and catastrophic.

 

All Mum’s organs failed as the blood poisoning took hold.

 

And nobody knew.. not us . not the health professionals, no none, except perhaps Mum, who on Thursday in the only lucid moment she had that day,  came round and gasped “ I’m dying, I’m dying”

 

Those last six days of Mum’s life were like the worst roller coaster ride of our lives, with crests of hope so high we were delirious with happiness, to troughs of despair deeper than black holes.

 

We honestly didn’t know if we were coming or going.

We didn’t know if Mum was coming or going, though we knew that whatever happened then, even if she did survive, she would have really struggled, and it would just have been a matter of time before she finally succumbed.

 

We had to make some tough calls, and I know for one that I got my big call wrong.

 

We should have come back straight away, left the gear or sent it DHL. I should have been there, but I wasn’t and now I’ve got to live with that…. That and a million other could have’s and should have’s that prey on my mind when a loose thought triggers my memory.

 

I still think of her a lot, the pain of grief is still there, and I still miss her so much. I would give almost anything just to go back in time for a day, but I know that’s not going to happen, so I must wait for that day, when the call comes from above, and hope that everything I’ve been told about heaven and the hereafter is in fact true.

 

My youngest brother ( who has Downs Syndrome ) wrote a eulogy for her funeral.

The simplicity of the words, his view of Mum, are beautiful.

 

I feel blessed and honoured to have had such a loving and caring Mum

She was sensitive and kind hearted, compassionate but could also be temperamental.

 She had a heart of gold, and I want to thank God who gives joy to the world,  as we remember the life of a remarkable woman who will never be forgotten.

 Our love will never be extinguished because we will be her family forever.

 I will never forget the Mum who gave me so much love.

 Goodbye Mum

 

 

 If you have a spare moment any time, say a prayer for her please.

She would have liked that.

 

Coping With The Aftermath

 

We arrived at the airport back home at approx 3.15am on the morning of Friday 15th July, tired and upset.

I had been crying all the way back on the flight, remembering Mum, her life, the sweet little things that she used to do sometimes, that I hadn’t appreciated at the time she had done them, realizing just how much I was going to miss them and trying to imagine what life was going to be like now that she was gone… and missing her so so much already.

An hour later we were at my Mum’s house where all my heroic siblings were gathered.

 

The house was just as mum left it that 4th July afternoon, her belongings everywhere, (she was always a bit disorganised, but she always knew where everything was) the book that she had been reading just before her fall still open on her bed, clothes in the washing basket, slippers by the side of her bed, just waiting for her to slip her little feet back into.

Downstairs, there were cups in the sink, dishes in the dishwasher, the Dyson out ready to vacuum something up, papers had been left open,  her clogs in the hallway neatly lined up…. the house even smelt of her perfume.

Everything was just as normal, just as it had been, and always was, waiting for her to come back and resume where she had left off.

Only that was never going to happen again.

Mum was gone.

80 years of memories, experiences, of happy times and sad times, gone like snow in the sunshine.

 

We all sat around talking, remembering, laughing and crying at the same time, until it got light.

We all needed some sleep, though that was easier said that done and we dozed off in the chairs in my Mum’s front room.

No one wanted to sleep in Mum’s bed.

We all secretly wanted to believe it was just a bad dream, and that if any of us slept in Mum’s bed and she caught us, she would go mental,

Mum’s bed, was MUM’S bed.

 

 

After a few hours of what could loosely be described as sleep, We all went to the hospital to try and get the death certificate sorted out ,make arrangements for Mum’s funeral and to engage a solicitor to instruct Mum’s will.

 

When we arrived at the hospital, a very nice doctor (who my siblings had been having dealings with from the last few days) took us in to a side room, had a long chat with us about Mum, why her condition had deteriorated so rapidly, and gave us a run down of her treatment over her last two days.

I was so tired I could hardly concentrate… everything was a blur.

 

I kept thinking of Mum and her last few months, shuffling around the house, trying to do her best, wondering why she wasn’t feeling or getting any better, whilst within her there was an infection that was growing and growing.

 

I though of the last 18 months that we had together, her first serious “ fall “ – slip – in December 2009, and her diagnosis in early 2010 that she needed a heart valve replacement.

Of the appointments that we went to, the pre op  tests, the intervening months when it was obvious to us, but not the medical profession that Mum’s condition was rapidly worsening.

Of Christmas 2010 when she was so ill she hardly attended the proceedings (we had Christmas dinner at Mum’s that year) because she was too tired and unwell, and of her increasing fatigue and memory problems as her valve problems grew worse.

Of the chats that we had together, her concerns and fears and her hopes and wishes for a healthier and fitter life.

One thing she was adamant on though, was that there was no way she was going to live as long as her mum whatever happened… words of prophesy.

My Family

 

I thought of her pottering around when she got eventually got home, finding it increasingly more difficult to manage in the house, even  with our  and outside help, and I thought of the last time I saw her, her wide brown eyes looking up at me as she said goodbye.

It was so sad, and such a shame.

 

Talking to the doctor did help a bit. It helped me understand or start to, the reason why she had gone from a frail but feisty old lady who had a fall, to one that was dying from an incurable infection, in such a short time.

He also stated that because it was believed that the infection was caught as a result of her heart operation, the coroner wanted a FULL INQUEST, which could be months away.

This was a blow, and meant postponing the funeral for a few weeks until we got an interim death certificate from the coroner (a week later).

 

Then came my last view of Mum.

 

The doctor asked if we wanted to see her.. All my siblings had been there all week, and didn’t need to, where as I did.. I HAD to see her just one last time, so they brought her up from the mortuary and placed her in the chapel of rest and ushered me in.

Poor old Mum…She lay there on the bed, cold as ice, but still Mum.

She smelt the same, she felt the same –her skin felt so soft, like silk, she always had a good complexion – she looked the same, though weirdly she looked as though she had put some weight on, her eyes were ¾ closed and she looked like she was just asleep… not dead.

For a moment I just stood there looking at her, willing her to wake up, but I knew in my heart that wasn’t going to happen

I took her hand in mine, and held it gently, and told her all the things that I had wanted to before she died.

I told her I loved her and I was going to miss her so much that it hurt.

That I didn’t know how I was going to cope without her and of how sorry I was that we hadn’t got back in time.

I told her that she once said that we didn’t love her for who she was, but only for what she was, and that I hoped that the events over the last two weeks had shown her just how much we DID love her…

I spoke for quite a few minutes, and then had to stop. I knew she couldn’t hear me, it was far too late.  I just couldn’t speak any more, the flood of grief and sorrow was overwhelming.

I said my goodbyes, kissed her on each cheek, on her forehead, and finally on her lips and left her lying there, at peace, my last sight of my poor old Mum.

“I’m going to miss you two” her last words to us

“I’m going to miss you too mum”…..

 

Before we left the hospital, I asked for a lock of Mum’s hair. They actually gave me two, and one is kept in a china ornament by the side of my bed. The other is in a multi windowed locket on a chain around my neck,  just long enough for the locket to rest above my heart.This gives me great comfort, and I feel like she is with me when I wear it.  

We then proceeded  to the undertakers to get things started, a traumatic process in itself.

This is where it starts to get a bit complicated….

 

My Dad died in 1981- July 12th to be precise.

We had a funeral, and a cremation, but Dad was never buried.

Mum kept his ashes in her bedroom, and at hard times would hold the container that they were in, for comfort.

 

When my Gran ( Mum’s mum ) died in 2006,  again we had a funeral and cremation ( this time though , the ashes were put in  to a casket ) and kept in her room at my mums house.

It was always her wish that the when she died, all 3 would be put in to the same grave, so that they could be together for eternity – This actually is a separate discussion which I might well cover at a later date – so in effect we were burying three people which brought three times the hurt too, long buried emotions bubbling to the surface again

 

Later that evening, we all went our separate ways back to our lives again.

Lives that were inconceivably different now.

 

Everyone had gone, there was just me and my wife left in the house. It was quiet, the only sound was the hum of the refrigerator in the dining room ,a room that held a lifetime of memories.

Everywhere we looked Mum was still there.

Her shoes lying forlornly in the hallway,  her dressing gowns hanging from the door in her room, a nightdress neatly folded on her bed, , her pillow, still with the shape of her head visible from 2 weeks before, everything waiting for her return.

Mum was there, but she wasn’t… and never was going to be again…..

All of a sudden the emotions became too much and we had to go.

 

There would be plenty more times I would be in the place.

It had to be cleared, all her possessions disposed of, either to the family, or to charity shops, and in all those times that I was there, until it was empty completely and sold,  the house never lost the essecence of Mum and kept the feeling that Mum was only temporarily gone and would return one day.

 

 

 

The next two weeks were a haze. I shut down completely.

All I could think about was poor old Mum, that she was gone, and how much I was going to miss her.

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t go out..I couldn’t stop crying.

Everything I did or thought of reminded me of Mum, I couldn’t think of anything else, but there was one thing that helped blot out the pain of life right then…

My old friend Jack Daniels. I drank 4 litres in 5 days… It  just seemed the right thing to do, it dulled everything, made the heart ache more bearable.

 

Slowly I started to come round ( the jack ran out for a start, and I was banned from buying any more) and I began to take more of an interest what was happening around me, the funeral arrangements, designing and printing mums order of service, and life in general.

 

It has taken a long time for me to be able to think about Mum without getting distraught.

I still get upset now, and I miss her so so much, but at least when I’m asked how I’m doing, I can honestly say “I’m getting there “

 

 

My Mum

 

Goodbye my lovely Mum, until we meet again.

Forever is a long long time.

 

Mum – Happy Days

 

 

 

 

Hours to minutes – how soon is now?

And so began  the worst 24 hours of my life.

 

We woke up early as we had to pack, and also because I had received a message from home.

 

14/07/2011 06:59

mum had stable night, heart rate up to 70-80, responding a bit when you talk to her, still in pain so had more pain relief. Doesn’t mean she’s out of the woods tho

14/07/2011 07:02

Thanks Al, that sounds quite good. I’ll take no news as good news. Have you managed to get any sleep yet ? X

14/07/2011 07:04

We bogged off to a hotel last night and got a good 6 hours. We were not functioning at all yesterday.

14/07/2011 07:08

Thats good news too, also that mum was well enough to be left 🙂 are the doctors giving her a better chance now or is it still the same outlook but just with a longer time span? X

14/07/2011 07:10

We left because we could no longer function and they told us to go sleep. Not seen doctor yet so don’t know the answer to your question.

14/07/2011 07:13

Ok Al, just grabbing at straws

14/07/2011 07:15

So are we. Dont read too much into my brusqueness, it’s just text language 😉

14/07/2011 07:17

;-)Okey dokey thanks for telling me. I was a bit concerned 😦

 

50 years ago

 

Again the untold story of the texts is that talking to my sister on the phone elicited the information that the doctors had said they were thinking about a chest drain ( more below) and if this was successful, then Mum  would have to have it done every 3-4 days depending on how well they cleared up the infection…

 

EVERY 3-4 DAYS.. that’s what they said, every 3 – 4 days….

I told you mum was a fighter, but this was close on a miracle.

 

I thought about the email I had sent to my boss the night before.. “ I’m going to look a proper twat – I’ve just told my boss that my mum is dying,she’s got 48 hours to live, and here we are looking at a minimum of 3- 4 days but not only that , an ongoing EVERY 3 or 4 days.

This implied more than one op, and I was ecstatic..

Hope at last!

We finished packing and went to the beach barbecue relatively happy. Happy enough to enjoy it , and not be as miserable as sin.

I had forgotten those words No positive outcome

 

Stiil on the beach later that afternoon, more messages,

 14/07/2011 11:38

Doctors have decided that that mum is sufficiently stable for her to have a small op later this afternoon to put a drain in her chest to get the rest of the pus out. They think benefits outweigh risks as anti-bs will never clear infection on own and should also make her more comfy.

14/07/2011 11:43

That’s got to be good news .when will they do op? Good Luck to her , fingers crossed . I’ll wait for news love to all x

14/07/2011 11:44

They dont know the time yet, but hopefully this afternoon

14/07/2011 11:47

Okey dokey Ali hugs to everyone especially mum xxx

 

We said our goodbyes to our friends on the beach,and went back to our room.

Showered and dressed , we were just about to go for something to eat before we went home, when a message arrived.

14/07/2011 16:01

No news re op time, may be last thing tonight or if surgeon too tired may be tomorrow. We will probably go back to mums tonight if there is no change. I would suggest you go home from flight rather than straight here and then come over in the morning.

14/07/2011 16:09

Okey Ali, we were just discussing what to do. Do you want me to come to mums first or shall I go to the q.e in the morning.? Also what ward / floor is she on? I gather she is stable now ( good) have the docs said any more about her long term prospects ( or am I grabbing at straws again ) see you tomorrow x

14/07/2011 16:12

Suggest you come here, area d of critical care, opening visiting, ring the bell and say you’re mrs lords family. Stable is neutral, neither good nor bad, a plateau from which things will either get better or worse and there’s no guide as to which as this point.

14/07/2011 16:14

Ok thanks Ali, keeping it real 😉 see you tomorrow morning x

 

We went to our usual restaurant, had our meal, and were just finishing when the phone rang. It was my sister.

 “ The doctors have told us that Mum is dying. All her organs have failed and she is in a coma.  She’s definitely not going to make it through the night, and you are not going to make it here before she dies.”

 

My whole world collapsed in front of me. I could hardly speak for crying. It hurts now to write about that night

 

“ Poor old Mum “ I kept saying.” Please tell her I love her, and I’m going to miss her “

“ I’ll try , but she’s not conscious and she’s in a coma. Do you want to stay where you are? “

 

I considered this for a few seconds.. part of going home was to see Mum before she died. That wasn’t going to happen now, so what was the point.

 My family that was the point, my brothers and sisters who had stood guard over my mums bed for 4 days, waiting for me, their older brother to come back.

I suddenly felt the need to be with them, for their comfort and mine so I told my sister we were definitely coming back on the same flight and we would see them later.

Ok she said, and started to say something else, when she interrupted herself “ We’ve got to go now, I’ll phone you back straight away.

 

10 minutes later I was just sending

 

14/07/2011 20:16

Ali please tell her I love her, I’m going to miss so much & I’m sorry I wasn’t there when she needed me 😥 love to everyone I love you,alla

When I received

 

14/07/2011 20:16

Shes gone x

 

14/07/2011 20:18

Oh my god !!!!!! 😥

 

That was it. The rest of the evening was a blur.

I went and sat on the beach, the sea crashing on to the sand, tears streaming from my eyes, rolling down my cheeks and dropping into the dark blue mass of the sea.

For a minute I thought about throwing myself in there too, but I pulled myself together enough to walk back up to the restaurant and announced

 “ She’s dead… Mum’s dead! “

We said our goodbyes in a river of tears, I don’t know how we got to the airport, I drove apparently but I don’t remember any of it.

 

72 years ago

When we got to the airport,  my wife told the rep what had happened and asked him to help us check in, which to his credit he did

We then had a nightmare of a check in, with the check in girls demanding that we open the cases up to show them what was in there

“ It’s all fucking dive stuff “ I exploded, tears rolling down my cheeks.

“ ‘I’m sorry “ she said “ I’m really sorry, I have to do this, I have to check, I’m sorry I’m sorry “

She could see what a state I was in, and to be fair it wasn’t her fault, but right then, out of all the times and all the flights I’ve taken in my life, I really didn’t need all this hassle.

We finally checked in and boarded the flight.

I had missed her by just a few hours.

 

If only’s were running my head then and are running through my head even now.

If only we had got an earlier plane, if only we hadn’t gone on holiday if only if only if only.

 

Mum was gone and my life was about to change.

Time to go home now and face the future.

 

24 Hours.. just 24 hours

1 Day left- 24-HOURS – Wednesday 13th July 2011

With Mum being transferred to another hospital in the early hours of Wednesday 13th   , sleep that night was out of the question.We should have gone out with our Greek friends for something to eat (an occasion that we had been planning for a year) but because of the uncertainty of Mum’s condition and her imminent move, we pulled out.

It wouldn’t have been fair on everyone there, and also I felt like I was doing the dirty on my family, who were still at the hospital, and had been since Monday.

I tossed and turned until the early hours of the morning worrying about Mum, still undecided of the best thing to do, do we stay or come home, waiting for my phone to ring…which it did at 2.17 am UK time 4.17 am Greek Time.

It was just getting light.,…

 13/07/2011 02:17

Phone recharged tho signal shite. We have all made it to the QE alive, mum included! She’s hanging on in there.

02:19

Go girl ! She’s a fighter & no mistake 🙂 good luck to her, all our love xxx

04:05

Hi All, I’m so so sorry that I’m not there with you all. Thank you all so much for everything that you have been doing, I love you all so much. Hold her hand for us please, give it a squeeze & tell her we love her & are going to miss her so much it hurts. God knows what is must be like for you all there, it’s not good here 😥 xxx

 

That was it; my mind had been made up.

Against all the odds Mum had survived the journey, unbelievable..

God I was so proud of her.

 My brothers and sisters were exhausted, I was exhausted and I needed to be there, be in the hospital with them and Mum.

We were going home on Thursday, whatever the cost.

 

I called the dive centre, and told them that Mum was dying and we were going home.

We would come and pick all our gear up before they left harbour. They were very understanding and sympathetic, and said they would have it ready, which it was.

I don’t remember driving those 45 kms toKostown, I do remember crying my eyes out so much on the way that we had to stop for 10 minutes for it to stop.

When we got to the centre, our friend who owns it gave me a big hug, and I just burst in to tears again. I couldn’t stop, in front of everyone, the tears rolling down my face and in to the harbour water.

We said our goodbyes, and wished each other good luck, the tears running  down both our faces now.

 

13/07/2011 08:52

Hi Al, we are coming home either tonight or tomorrow, should be back Friday at the latest. Can’t hack it here, can’t stop crying.Paradise isn’t so nice anymore. Will call you when I have a definite time/ flight. How is the poor old girl & how is everyone else? X

08:54

She’s hanging on in there, so are we. Doctors to update shortly. No Positive Outcome, just a matter of time and making her comfortable.

 

The stress was on the no positive outcome and this confirmation of how ill Mum was didn’t help at all, causing another outbreak of distraught tears. When I had recovered I phoned my sister up for more news… and got a stressed out woman, who had had very little sleep for the last 72 hours, not too much to eat, and was at the end of her tether.

After a short conversation I put the phone down, feeling like I had been given a proper flea in the ear.

 

14:48

Sorry I got a bit shirty earlier, need a glass of wine and a weeks sleep;-) I know you’re just trying to make it through. Same for all of us.

14:54

Al no worries at all. You are coping with this so much better than I could even think of, & I will be forever grateful to you, to you all. I’ve been in the 24 hours hospital pressure pot) tho not for as long) & I know what its like. We can all just do our best, when I said earlier about seeing everybody it was because I just want to hug you all. See you soon, fingers crossed for the next update xxx

18:00

Hi, how did the 4 o’clock update go? How is mum? X

18:01

No change, for better or worse. No immediate danger. Just wait and see.

18:03

Sorry Al, will do 😦 just worried about her as we all are x

18:04

No I mean they’re saying we just need to wait and see…

 

That was it…

It was now as my sister had said a matter of waiting. The Q.E. had run a load of tests on Mum, and had managed to remove some of the pus from her chest, Mum was responding to the anti biotics at last, but the outlook was still not good..

 

I still had another week of holiday left after we got back, which I could see was going to be spent at the hospital all the time,supporting Mum and my siblings, so I thought it only fair to let my boss know what was happening as although the prognosis wasn’t good, the time scales for poor old Mum were changing by the minute.

 

 

 13.7.2011

Hi Ed, / Karen.

 I have had some very bad news from home about my mum and we are coming home  this Friday as the hospital has given her 48 hours to live.

 

 She had a fall while we were here, and was on the floor for at least 24 hours- the carer found her on Monday- she didn’t use the phone or the careline.. I don’t know why?

 But we didn’t find out here until Saturday evening, as my family didn’t want to worry me  & the prognosis wasn’t too bad.

 As the weekend has progressed her condition has worsened, she has  developed a severe case of blood poisoning, and abscesses in her chest from the operation. Her chest apparently has never healed up properly, so the infection is very severe.

 This has got worse over the last 24 hours , she has been transferred to the Q.E. for assssment,which was a risk in itself, where the specialist has told my brothers & sisters that she has got no chance of recovery, the infection is too deep rooted, and that basically there is nothing they can do… just managing her pain until she dies, which could be anytime from now.

 She’s a fighter though & giving it her best shot, which might prolong it for the 48 hours, so we might get back in time , though it isn’t likely.

 They aren’t going to put her onto a ventilator or life support as all this would do is prolong her suffering,.

 

 I’m sorry to send this terrible news by email, but I can’t talk at the moment, & I’m finding it very hard to keep myself together right now.

 It’s not fair on our friends here, or the other holiday makers, so we have brought the flight forward a week.

 I won’t be in next week as arranged, but I know that K is off for a week after that. I’ll try my best to get in but I’m not sure right now how long for  / when that will be.

 It might be a good idea to refresh other people with cashing up

 Sorry both, I’ll call you when we get back. I though you should know, it’s a bombshell 😦

 Hope your last 2 weeks have been better than mine, Ed you were right, what have we done???

 Cheers

 

 

The rest of the night finished in a bit of a haze with lots of tears. Tears of sorrow, tears of hope. We found some more Jack and finished that off  – not as much as the last time though,  I needed to be able to wake up if anything happened .

The next day, Thursday 14th,  we were due to go to a beach barbecue with our friends.

A lot depended on the news about Mum, if any, that night.

Mum was a fighter and would give it her best shot, whether she was unconscious or not, but at the back of my mind all the time were three words…

 

No Positive Outcome.