When my mother was found to have fluid on her lung, back in May, I knew then that if she had as many chest infections during this coming winter, as she had over the course of last winter, that she would not see Spring 2012. Last week she succumbed to her third chest infection of the winter. Sadly she died on Saturday December 10. I wasn't quite prepared for this turn of events and if I am honest I am a bit annoyed about the timing. Maybe I am just being selfish, but I would have liked to have quietly enjoyed my last few days at work without having one of life's inevitable dramas going on in the background. That's life. Anyway my mother has taken her final bow and I have now finished work. I suppose that anti-climax is the word that I am looking for.
Please do not be sad, as my mother's death was a blessing in disguise. Her tormented soul is now at peace and the torture that my brother and I have suffered since she had a mini stroke, in May 2006 ago, is over. In many ways my mother really died five and a half years ago. If 20 or 30 years ago my mother could have seen how she would become, she would have had a blue fit. The staff at the nursing home,where she was a resident, were brilliant with her and I would highly recommend it to anyone in this area who has a relative with dementia. They took a load off my mind and certainly made my life as stress free as it could be in the circumstances.
Husband and I returned to the nursing home on Sunday to collect Mum's belongings. We took with us a large suitcase and a bag, but I had underestimated quite how many clothes and bits and pieces she had, so husband returned home to collect another suitcase. While he was gone I had a chat to one of the young carers who had known my mother since she become a resident in the residential home, in April 2009. I was trying to explain to her how difficult it is to watch a parent go down hill in the way that my mother had done over the last few years. There was a bit of a bond between the two of them as they had the same birthday, albeit 70 years apart. Recently she had asked me what my mother had been like before the dementia took hold. Although I would be the first to comment that the person that my mother became after the mini stroke was not the mother that I had known, I found that I really had to think about my answer, as I had accepted her as she had become.
I do not think that my mother ever worked out that she was in a home but in a way she had the last laugh. She had a dislike of lifts and would always use a stair case if possible. Her room was on the second floor and I had always used to stairs to get up and down to it. As we had two large suitcases husband and I decided to come down in the lift. The home is in an old house. The lift is nearly as ancient. It was very very slow and then we realised that it had stopped and we in between floors! It was hot. We pressed all of the buttons and still the lift did not move. It became very hot. I was beginning to get a bit panicky. Then husband said we'll have to press the alarm button which we did. Luckily the nurse in charge had seen us getting into the lift so he knew who was in it. Next we heard a voice asking 'can you jump?' My first thought was 'were to?' We could not get out of the lift. Then the penny drop and I asked if he meant up and down. 'Yes' the voice said. So a couple of jumps and lift descended. That was an experience that I won't forget.