TWO DAYS BEFORE MUM'S FUNERAL
Wednesday 14 November 2018.
Two days before mum's funeral. We think we've got it all sewn up, but we keep thinking of things... When are they delivering the flowers? Gotta be day before...
The undertaker 's our cousin, mum's nephew, so I doubt there'll be any problems, he's got a big business down Medway way, 4 shops now and his family are third or fourth generation, so they know their business. Done all our family, and all manner of funerals so a fairly traditional one for an 89 year old lady should be a piece of cake!.... Cake... Did I get enough cake?? Cupcakes are a godsend, and as the wake’s at the local Beefeater, people can buy something if the buffet don't suffice. In the old days when our cousin was a whippersnapper, he used to run a mobile disco on the side, was great at parties. Very dry sense of humour our cuz, I suppose you have to see the bright side in that business. Mind you, once his Father-in- Law retired and handed him the reins, he was too busy to carry on with that.
But last week when we took the journey up to Rochester to see Mum for the last time in our Terry s chapel of rest, he proudly showed us a brand-new disco deck, state of the art, all flashing lights and digital, ready for his supposed retirement. Guess he's got plans!
Anyway, with the funeral only two days away, after all the months and indeed years of looking after elderly parents, we feel a bit at a loose end, though it'll all start over again after Friday, when the flat clearing gets serious. I'm tired out already, can't sleep for thinking about it all. In fact my last hours sleep was the most peaceful and restful for ages. I dreamed we as a family had gone for a day out with Mum in her wheelchair, her stump covered up by a nice dress and her remaining leg shod in a nice shoe for once. When we arrived back at her flat, there were two lovely smiling uniformed nurses bustling about, dressed in the old-fashioned way with the big white flowing sheet on their heads, a crisp pinny over a dark green blouse, all smiles and cups of tea.
They had changed mum's bed linen, put on her favourite pink floral quilt, and best of all, brought along a brand-new wheelchair! Not black vulcanised rubber seat and back like her usual one, oh no, this was a veritable throne on wheels. Blue padded seat, like a big old curved back armchair with carved wooden arms. Fit for a Queen. Which is what Mum was in the family, the oldest surviving in the family on both sides, and the last remaining parent between me and my husband, and both our sister's and their partners. Last of all our various kids’ Grandparents in fact.
Anyway that was a nice dream for me, I felt she was being looked after properly, it gave me a bit of peace after years ago of jumping out of our skin whenever the phone rang, and months on end of snatched meals and long commutes to various London hospitals, one of which killed her in the end.
One of the top hospitals in the world this year gave her various surgical treatments, several procedures including amputations. Must have cost a fortune, and a great view from her ward across the river to the houses of parliament thrown in. Then they spoil it all by virtually throwing her out when they wanted her bed, patently sicker than when she was admitted weeks before. No amount of our begging them cut any ice, they chucked her out saying she was able to stand on her one remaining foot...from which they had just removed her big toe and one other, with a painful bowel blockage and other problems including untreated infections which I had pointed out. She went back to her single flat, so ill we called her GP next day who prescribed antibiotics for said urine and chest infections. Two days later an emergency ambulance took her to the local hospital, where the A&E doctor diagnosed HAP (Hospital Acquired Pneumonia). In other words the great St Thomas had rushed her out knowing she was still very ill. Five days after admittance she was dead. The death Certificate confirmed HAP as cause of death.
What a waste of resources of the NHS to give all this great initial treatment then not follow it through properly. Spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar Mum would have called it. All the pain they put her through too could've been avoided.
Anyway that's all for another day. Now's the time to concentrate on giving her the good send-off she deserves. I just hope she has got a lovely comfy chair and a good cuppa on the go whenever she wants one now.
I’ll leave you with a little item written by my 7-year-old autistic grandson on hearing of the death of his beloved Great Grandmother. He managed to create himself a Facebook account, and wrote :
Remember Nan dots life the one that made us proud. She is now in a safe place with god and no more having to worry about the pneumoniae. Remember Dorethe Cress.
Says it all. TTFN Mum.