My Grandad’s asked me to quit. You have to quit when your Grandad asks you to.
- Me: I bloody love David Dimbleby. DIMBLEBY!
- Mum: What happened to your crush on Professor Robert Winston?
- Me: Robert Winston didn't stay awake for a week during the election. Neither does he present Question Time.
- Mum: You're such a power whore.
- Me: Um, excuse me? I think you'll find I always break up with men BEFORE they become really successful.
When I started the job hunt, I said things like, “I could be a Theatre Manager for a company that works for ex female offenders!”.
Now I’m saying things like, “I could be a cleaner!”
- Mum: Can I have some banana cake?
- Me: You can have some salad.
- Mum: *gives me a death stare and eats salad*
- Me: Was it nice?
- Mum: Yes, it was. Now, can I have some banana cake?
- Me: But you've already had some cake this morning.
- Mum: Oh, was that cake?
- Me: What? You mean the big cake, the little cake and the even bigger cake you had earlier? Yes, that was cake.
I went to the hospital on Thursday to find my Mum looking small and scared. When she went for her CT scan I turned to see my Dad looking equally small and scared.
Even though I’ve long come to terms with the fact that my Mum has moments of weakness and sometimes needs people to be strong for her, my Dad has always been a pillar of strength. Stoic, effortlessly cool… vulcan-like in his logical, objective approach to everything.
I offered a hand to hold but he regained composure as quickly as he’d lost it.
After some phone calls, some incessant pacing and much-needed distracting small talk, Mum came back. She looked much better than when we first arrived and with news that made us hopeful; it might not be the super scary thing, but a less scary, more manageable thing with similar symptoms.
The ward was an uncomfortable place to be in. I felt guilty for getting to leave and not being able to take Mum with me. The other patients were on the brink, hooked up to respiratory devices, occasionally having the curtains whipped around their beds while doctors shouted their names and brought them back. Not feeling as though we could carry on our conversation and feeling rude for listening, we just stared at each other, mouthing “You OK?” until the trusty heart monitors began beeping again.
Mum’s recovered well and we’ve got her home now. In a couple of weeks she’ll have an MRI scan to make sure that it’s not the super scary thing. The doctors are still treating it as such, just to err on the side of caution, but it’s nice to have a little hope in our arsenal.
What Mum didn’t know on Thursday was that, for months, we’d been arranging a surprise 50th party for her on the Saturday. Relatives were already camped out nearby and the news that she’d gone into hospital nearly brought them all out of hiding. Fortunately, because she is as tough as old boots, she was out of hospital the next day and we were on our way to “a small BBQ”.
It was a great day with (nearly) all of the family. I think it’s just what she needed.
She’s got three weeks off to rest and do nothing, but knowing Mum it’s going to be three weeks of us sitting on her and making sure that she does actually rest. Three weeks of catching her rearranging the furniture or deciding to nip to the shops while we look for stronger duct tape.
I know I’ve said it already but thanks to everyone who sent their best wishes. They were really appreciated.
But I’ve got to live in another one, and that’s a real pity.