The next 48 hours will be decisive. Dad is so very ill.
This afternoon he said the only decipherable thing of the last 24 hours – though very “dad”. He was feverish and we mopped his brow with a cool, damp flannel. He sighed and muttered something we didn’t quite catch. Then he repeated it, the word only just coming from his unmoving mouth: “I hope that isn’t the flannel I use to wash my backside” !!!!
A third visit, this evening. He was deathly – did not respond at all to touch or sound, eyes rolled into head, mouth agape and moving slighly, skin pallid. I asked him if he wanted a drink as his lips were parched.. and nearly jumped out of my skin when he said “Yes please”! It was as though he dragged himself back from the edge at that very moment, from a very deep place, and we were able to have a chat and share a laugh together. The nurse said he’d improved slightly during the afternoon and had even had a little soup, though his insistance on feeding himself meant that he was wearing most of it. But she also warned us that patients often have a short reprieve like this before the end – the same happened in some respects with mum, and the memories of that come flooding back – and it still doesn’t indicate what way things might develop. And to be honest, we don’t know which way we want things to develop.. But it was nice to share a laugh with him and know he’s in no pain.
This afternoon, as a break from the emotional rollercoaster which is life at the moment, my sister and I decided to go out for a couple of hours, first for a rather scrummy lunch at Brading Roman Villa and then for a training walk on the Downs. The Walk the Wight is looming rather scarily on the horizon and I am rather noticeably unprepared for it.
It was a lovely afternoon, but rather windy, so we decided to venture down a favourite path which led down to the Brading butterfly walk, a chalk quarry site which has been planted with wild plants to encourage butterflies and includes some wickerwork and carved models by local artists and children (though somewhat in need of renovation). It was such a lovely walk. We saw a fair few butterflies, including one which I am convinced was the Island’s own Glanville Fritillary – a rather dull butterfly for such a grand name, being brown with brown spots, but for all that an exciting sight as it’s found only on the Isle of Wight and nowhere else in the whole wide world. By unspoken agreement, we focussed on positive chat and it was blissful to feel no obligation to anyone, just having a lovely walk with my sister with whom I am very very close.
I tried out my new digital camera a few times, though the pictures are being saved for another day. It was then I had my brainwave. I should collect photos from various spots on the Walk the Wight route……. and then post them on here one-by-one on May 14th while enjoying a cup of coffee and a box of chocolates in my favourite armchair! 😀
It would cause Smudgelet great embarrassment if I were to share with you the story of what happened this afternoon….
… the story of how two shipmates came over for the afternoon to take the boys out for some fun while my sister and I sat at the hospice (and also had some quality time together)
… the story of how they all went to Robin Hill and the children got really soaked playing Splash Attack (a brilliant game where there is a board with buttons which light up at random and, if you don’t hit the lit buttons fast enough, they squirt a jet of water at you)
… the story of how some small person had forgotten to put any pants in his bag of clothes to change into and so was advised by said shipmates just to put his trousers on
… the story of how, a little later in the day, they were walking down a nettle-ridden footpath away from the car in a deserted and derelict old holiday village (forgive us our “trespasses” !) en route to the secret beach when a certain small person discovered that he wished he’d visited a toilet before he set out… and not for any minor purpose either
….. the story of how the assembled company had no tissues or wet wipes or other convenient wiping materials with the exception of one church news-sheet….
… the story of how they arrived home minus one church news sheet and how a certain small person waddled at high speed past the greeting mother in search of a washing machine and a bath…..
… and the story of how a shipmate entrusted with the care of certain small person had been unable to help him in his hour of need due to a cruel and heartless burst of the giggles!!!! 😉