the best foot forward

Yesterday was finally time to visit Herself, without panicking her. She’d had a bad week in bed, mostly unresponsive to staff and visitors. The children were warned that she hadn’t been feeling well, so might be a bit tired. I was anxious to get there, but terrified of what we would find. The trip home had happened, but she’d seemed to be asleep the whole time.

Much to our delight Herself was out of bed, dolled up, make up on, doing a good impression of herself. The girls performed party pieces, singing and dancing round her, and put up pictures they’d made on the walls of the new ‘sickest person in the nursing home’ room. She clapped, smiled and posed for photographs. She was exhausted, but putting on such a show for us.

stylish girls

When we returned after lunch, she was in bed with the curtains pulled. No dancing or posing. She wants us to get a priest, reminded me where she’s to be buried and reckoned that I’d be being ‘sent for’ soon. She asked for the nurse and he had to use suction to clear her throat of excess saliva and gunk. It seemed that there was to be no bright spot in the afternoon. All the reserves had been used up in the morning’s performance.

Employing that well worn strategy of hiding behind jollity, I bounded into the room after the nurse left announcing that “I’m sure you’re all clear and ready to sing for us now!” I sat down, took her hand, and started to sing myself. Some of you will know that this is a sign of enthusiasm on my part, not to be mistaken as a pleasure for the listener. But hey, she’s my mother; she knows this and loves me anyway. It’s still her job to listen to me singing. I was singing that 70s, em, classic tune- sing, sing a song, make it simple to last your whole life long.

Well, didn’t she join in? ‘don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing, sing a song.’ She can hardly speak, but she can join in a song?

Properly awesome.


9 thoughts on “the best foot forward

    1. Shock spurred me on, until we both ran out of words πŸ™‚
      Of course, when we came back I had to take to the bed for a few hours, but she was so unexpectedly upbeat there have been no tears yet! I’m planning on heading down sometime when she’s not expecting me and not geared up for a show, just to get a better sense of the reality of it all. Isn’t it amazing how stubborness and sheer ‘thickery’ can stand to us?

  1. Music can go where nothing else can…amazinf. I almost trained in music therapy when I was younger: it has a lot of power πŸ™‚ Wonderful post today. Herself looks great.

  2. oh! speccy….that’s tough going….it’s hard to know what to say without sounding trite , i’ve been visiting here but not leaving a comment because first off your going far to fast for me and i can’t keep up and secondly the posts like this are so heartrendering that i’m just not sure what to say…..i’d prefer to just give you a hug.

  3. Brings back happy memories of similar visits.
    Putting on the twinkle and the sparkle can really take it out of a body. The singing was an inspired idea.

  4. I really do appreciate all the comments, support and virtual hugs as we negotiate our way through the slow decline, but please, don’t worry that’s there’s nothing to say! I write these posts for me- to help me process what’s going on and maybe find something to celebrate amongst all the awfulness. Unfortunately there are no magic wands, no ways to make it all go away, so we muddle along, making it up as we go.

    You may find it hard to believe, but I used to be very contained and not really talk about what was going on in my head… Eventually I worked out that was doing me no good, and I’m heading to the other extreme- you lucky folk get it all. A treat, I’m sure πŸ˜‰

  5. What is it they say about a trouble shared? We have willingly become your friends and good friends stand by you in the rough and the smooth. You are doing a mighty job. MIGHTY! Great big hugs from me.

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