My poor old dad


My nerve endings are exposed at the end of my fingertips. The relentless home to hospital back to home, when home is not actually home but mum and dad’s place, is much more tiring than it should be. Mum, a beacon of motherhood throughout my life, is bitter and hasn’t got a good word to say about anything or anyone; more so as the levels of white wine increase throughout the evening [sorry, BTW, for anyone reading this who knows Eileen … but I don’t write this on a keyboard made of sugar, and I obviously understand that this is a v tough time for her, although she is so much happier now that we know dad is not coming home]. We are getting along. At times, though, you might want to include the word ‘just’.

And my poor old dad, bless him, is hanging on. We have switched to palliative care and this morning he was comfortable, out of it and enjoying the benefit of a continuous morphine drip. I can tell you that, just now in the slightly febrile atmosphere of ‘home’, I wish I had half-hinched a couple of doses; I’m sure morphine mixes well with red wine. But, his need is greater than mine. Recently he has taken the ignominy of dementia, a fall, hospitalisation, pneumonia and now in ‘the waiting’ room, with a grace that makes me tearful. Again, more on dad later at an  appropriate moment, but all I will say now is that underneath his military brusqueness there is always a gentle-man underneath (purposefully hyphenated).

At the moment C and I have opposite sinusoidal rhythms. Generally when she is up, I am down. And vice-versa. This works until our rhythms get into sync … which happened as we went to bed last night. It’s a v irregular occurrence, but the situation here is making it so. We always work it out and always will. But it’s adding to my fingertip issue.

Anyhow, it seems that booking crematoriums (Roland … ever the military planner) is easy, and done by the undertaker. But, actually, securing an early date is more difficult. Therefore we may be at this for some time. In some ways that works for C and I, though. Once we have mum settled and everything is in place, we will pop home and then come back up here for a week or so to see her through the funeral. In the meantime we might take her down to see my brother on Saturday … and, and I’ll know you’ll be interested, we had a v chilly picnic accompanied by Mrs Sun in the car on Clacton seafront today. We have tried to do something everyday with mum whilst we’ve been here.


Clacton, colder than it looks

Oh, and here’s a thing. I got a phone call yesterday. Out of the blue. It was my old workplace, the defence procurement people. They … wait for it … want me to be the ‘motivational speaker’ at a conference for the teams from Abbeywood. I don’t think it’s anywhere near as grand as it sounds, but I’m getting a small fee and a free lunch, so that’ll be nice. End of April, I think. I’d better start writing something down.

And I’ve had a bit of flurry of book sales (eight yesterday). No idea why, but it’s nice thing to happen.

Hospital tomorrow (dad; not for me – heart behaving). And hopefully I’ll make it to the end of the evening without throwing a rope around the rafters. And tomorrow night. And the night after.   

9 thoughts on “My poor old dad

  1. So sorry for your Dad, Mum and the 2 of you. Thinking of you. Stay with it.


    Stay with it

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Best wishes at this difficult time. I was just pondering my role reversal with the parents and I’m not sure I always cope well with it.

    Had to laugh the other week when my Mother hinted that my Father had got some news for me and was desperate to tell me himself. Went he got home from yet another mystery tour on the local buses (!) he rushed round to excitedly announce that he’d been told he was a carrier for haemochromatosis. There was I thinking he was going to give me something nice. 🙂

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