We surely have all heard the saying, ‘every cloud has a silver lining.’ No doubts throughout the tumultuous period of my life after 2008 and through all those times of personal struggles this expression has helped me through.
Here am I trying to get my head around writing a blog because it’s important to keep it updated on a regular basis, and as a blogger through rain or shine we have to keep sharing our thoughts. But today it is so hard.
Of course right now my mind is stuck in one place, my mother. She is lying in a hospital bed and what will happen to her is very uncertain. Today is day six. Things started late evening on Saturday. I found out from a telephone call from my eldest daughter Laura-Jayne and a text from my youngest Carly. It was something like ‘Dad, Grandma is ill an ambulance has been called and they’re going to take her to the RVI Hospital.’ Since then we have been holding virtually a daily vigil by the side of her bed, hoping and praying to see an improvement, to hear from the doctors a message that things were improving for the better.
But even to this day things are still very unclear. Although the Doctor was able to give me more information this afternoon. She informed me that the water infection as she put it was extremely bad, and much of their effort was to combat this. They are still trying their hardest to sort it out. Her sugar is up and down, as is her blood pressure but at the moment is not an issue that is concerning them.
All of what she is going through is secondary to the biggest problem, and that is she is still sleeping. In fact she has been in a sleeping state ever since Saturday. This is where there biggest worry is. Mum’s body is in a type of shut down state, and where this could lead is what concerns them the most. Day after day we sit at her bedside and she sleeps. No matter what the doctors and nurses do, she stays asleep. Every now and again, from somewhere, we see her mouth opening and a word leaves them. We have heard her tell Laura Jayne and Carly, I love you, the same to my sister Su and me. The word chocolate has been said a few times, my granddaughter’s name Amelia-Mae and maybe a few others. But on the best day we may have heard 5 words in an hour, but in the last 24 hours maybe 2 at most. These words gave us something to cling on to, building a little hope within us all. For 30 seconds the other day she managed to open her eyes, but that’s been the only time. So for 99% of the time Mum just seems sound asleep.
I think today everything has finally got to me. I’ve been driving about a 100 miles a day going to the hospital and then around to either my sister’s or daughters house before heading back to my home. It’s tired me out in fact it’s completely drained me. Apart from last night I have been getting to bed around 1am, waking constantly through the night till I’m up at about 7am. I certainly haven’t had time to catch up on my sleep after Sunday morning 5am finish.
This tiredness and the conversation with the doctor allowed my emotions to spill over. The words ‘we can’t say for sure what the outcome will be and you and your family have to be prepared for any eventuality’ hit me hard. Infact I had to make a quick exit out the door. Rachel, my partner and Carly were standing there with me, but I knew I had to get away for a few minutes to allow my emotions out and then recompose myself. I didn’t want them to see me fall to pieces and I knew I had to get my mind around the situation and deal with it in the right way. So I went outside, found myself a quiet corner. The first thing I knew I needed to do was let Su know what the doctor had said. That was so hard because I was way too emotional, and no body that loves another as much as she does my mum should hear things like I had to tell her over the phone. She has also been at my mother’s side constantly, and we had agreed to give each other a break for me to do the afternoon visit and her the evening. So I broke the news to her and got off the phone. The tears then began rolling down my face. The first time I have cried since my sister Jan past away. Just like a little baby I sobbed. I just had to clear it, let it go because I had to release the feelings and emotions. It’s why I’m writing this blog, putting this all down is my best way of releasing everything and freeing my mind and soul. This emotional outburst allowed me to let out the pain and bring myself back to centre. The place I needed to be.
Rachel, my partner had seen my body react to the words spoken by the Doctor. She allowed me the time to compose myself, but was standing outside awaiting my return, and she was so reassuring and strong for me, that she enabled me to find myself and to know she was there for me. I wouldn’t have been able to deal as I have the last few days if it hadn’t been for her.
Part of my problem is the confusion I feel inside. You see my mum has been very ill for a long time. Month in month out you just see her fading and moving further and further away from the person she once was. We’re talking about an incredibly intelligent woman. Some years ago, if her nose wasn’t buried in a chemistry, biology or physics book, it would be going through a medical encyclopedia. For relaxation she would do cross words. One day no doubts I’ll be writing many a blog about my mother telling the story of a brilliant courageous woman. This excites me because I want to share my pride in the person she has always been. Nothing that was ever thrown at her would beat her. She was a born fighter and the best role model any one could have. She was my mentor.
But now she’s a shadow of herself, a fragile, delicate, unwell lady. Dementia has definitely had its effect. So I think to myself, ‘what does she want’. What has she decided to do? Does she want to fight on, or is she now ready to join those loved ones she misses so much, her own mother and father, and her daughter, my sister Jan.
Yes I do truly believe that when we pass away from here it is not the end. We go to a better place. I just know that when her time comes she will once again be reunited with people that are undoubtedly waiting for her. This to me is a wonderful silver lining, and I believe that inside of her she knows she has this to look forward to. Me wanting to keep her here, in the health state she’s been in for so long is surely a selfish desire on my part. So wanting the best thing for her, to pray that she can find new happiness, I believe I have to myself be prepared to let her go, if that’s her choice. Then our family can instead of mourning, celebrate her life story. That’s what we should be doing celebrating the person she was and the way she got us all through so much.
So I don’t know if this will be someday soon, or whether she fights on to have more time here, but one day she will meet up with others who love her as much as we do here.
If timing was ever going to be a good thing, then maybe we have found the right time for this chapter to end. Although it is hard for me to say all this especially being someone who so believes in a positive mindset, I am able to find peace in these thoughts. You see she has been a great grandmother for a year, she went into hospital on the day we celebrated my granddaughters 1st birthday. She has seen and held on to the newest member of her clan, and seen the happiness it has brought all of us. If she decides this is her time to leave she knows she leaves us with someone very special to help us all get through.
Having my daughter Carly here with us throughout this time has also be a godsend. She would never have forgiven herself if she had not been by my mums bedside throughout all this ordeal. Her being here has been fantastic for us all. I do believe what’s meant to be is meant to be, her being here now was definitely. She has been here for her grandmother as well as being a rock for me.
Today Carly was by my side when the doctor spoke. She was so strong and brave. She has continuously given us all so much strength and love. Her being here is no doubts a silver lining.
The great thing is my mum is surrounded by love. She has had her 2 children by her side, her husband, my father Mervyn, her two granddaughters Carly and Laura Jayne with her partner Colin, Denise and Rachel. All the people that have been close by her side in the last few years. Well in the Last 5 days she’s heard us all constantly tell her that we love her. We have been comforting her and each other. To see each of us sitting by her bed side, holding her hand, trying to speak to her and connect to her subconscious in an attempt to wake her up, is so inspiring for all of us. All that strength and love towards my mother is also shared for each other. This is a time where we must get even closer than ever before. Our families strength and love coming through at this time is another one of the silver linings. We have each other!
Even after such a dramatic day like today we were able to go to Laura Jayne and Colin’s and I for one was revitalised by just taking my granddaughter in my arms. They all have been so strong as well, and I so love being surrounded by the three of them. Despiute Laura Jayne’s commitment at university, as a mother, a partner, she has also constantly been at our side in the hospital.
So I don’t know the final outcome of this particular journey, but however it plays out I truly believe it will be what she chooses it to be. Tomorrow is another day and what will be will be.
I hope nobody is offended by this blog post, and by writing it I have been able to help myself, and prepare me for any outcome. Thank you to all those that have sent me your best wishes, and to my business partner for holding the fort.
Please remember, however bad things may get, however dark your problems may seem you can always find a silver lining.
Be happy mum!