I’m writing this at 2.30pm on Monday. There are so many other things I could and should be doing. House stuff, Hope House Press work, swimming admin – and perhaps most ‘presently’ needing me – is William, who has come home from school because he really truly actually has had sick come up his throat on more than one occasion at school and needed to come home. Which is nice.
I’m really working to see the positive in all I can. I am. It’s tricky at the moment with all that’s changing for our family. We’re moving my Mum and Dad down to Cambridge so we can be on hand to help them as they come to the next stage in their lives. We hope that Dad will move into the new place with Mum, that he’ll not need residential care by that point, as I’d like them to make memories there together. I know that will bring my Mum comfort in the future and we want to do all we can to support her and Dad.
So. Friends. Well, it’s good to know who is your friend. And it’s equally good to know who is not your friend. When you need someone, anyone, and you realise that so many lovely people stepped forward and said “I’m here, what can I do, give me a job, let me make you a brew so you can offload” it’s a very special thing. They are Proper Friends. I really do mean that. Proper Friends. I’m so grateful for that. I escaped our house – Mum and Dad were visiting and I was wrung out – so I escaped to Angie’s officially to take some postcards to her. A coffee was waiting, mini marshmallows and I didn’t draw breath for 30 minutes. Then I legged it home to be supportive and helpful again. I am so relieved to have points to escape to.
Of course, this situation isn’t actually happening to me. It’s happening to my beautiful Dad and my wonderful Mum is witnessing, experiencing and handling all that comes with it first hand. All day fricking long. And all bloody night long as well. I feel like shit about the fact that Dad goes to daycare and carers come for 30 minutes in a morning to help him dress and do meds and the same at night time. She does the food cajoling, the walking of the house in circles, the repetitive behaviours, the accusations, the following behaviours. God. I am exhausted to think of it. And that’s just the start of it. I feel so bad that I am not there to help her with this. Guilt is not a strong enough word. It’s painful to talk with Mum. It’s heartbreaking to hear her crying down the phone.
So. I’m grateful that when they come here we’ll be able to get Mum more support – emotionally and practically. I’m grateful that I’ll be able to help them find the resources they need locally to keep Dad with Mum as long as we can. I’m grateful that the boys will be able to go back to having more of a relationship with Grandma. Because they are missing her terribly. I wonder how my relationship with my Mum will change. I’m worried that it will become more transactional – I need to work out how we will still have a friendship – because there’s going to be so much to do to help them settle.
Anyway. It’s a great experience. It really is. I got to let my Dad know that I’m his friend this weekend. In the night, when he couldn’t lay in his bed, I laid and sat on the floor so he knew he wan’t alone. I held his hand. I stroked his head. He didn’t know who I was, really. But he knew I cared for him and was his friend and wouldn’t leave him alone. I thank God that I am having the opportunity to care for him and give him what I can of myself. I have been so scared that my Dad would just die of a heart attack! I know. Utterly random!!!! But utterly true. And entirely self absorbed. But hey, that’s what it is at the moment.
So. I’m going to go and show my Son that I am his friend as well as his Mother. I’m going to give him what he needs from me before I run and do the school run for big bear and get him to swimming. Somewhere inbetween I have work calls, contracts to review and approve and decisions to make that will influence the future of Hope House Press. And a photography course tomorrow, that will be powered by a selfie stick and some gaffa tape! And whatever happens, I’ll have my friends to talk with about it all, which is a wonderful thing.