Sunday 20 September 2015

Week 18 - day 1

Up bright and early this morning to go and have my regular Saturday oxygen therapy. The in-laws are here for a few days with a family friend.

My phone rang in the decompression tank and it was my Aunt saying Nana was failing. Her breathing was deteriorating and her extremities we're going dark. Once The chamber was re-compressed I jumped in the car for the 250 mile trip again. It took me a respectable 4 hours to get there and I arrived at 17:50, stopped at the nurses desk on the way up to Nana's room and then went up. I held my aunts hand we both told her how loved she was and that we would take care of each other - then she was gone - less than 5 minutes in total :-(
Kathy and I are the last of our branch of the family and I know I'm a rubbish niece, I don't call her enough, I don't see her enough, I love her dearly and Nana was her Mum. It was important to me that I be there for her and with her when this happened and I'm so proud that Nana hung on and waited until we were together with her before going to her rest.
It's so strange, I'm heartbroken again just like losing my brother 16 weeks ago, but unlike losing my brother, for Nana I'm pleased, her dementia was so very advanced and for so long watching her disappear and become so dependent upon the staff at Lyngates for everything had been devastating, it feels like we've been grieving for so very long for the strong proud woman that ruled us all with a velvet glove. She'd have been mortified to see how she had become.
So while I'm heartborken I'm not broken - well not totally anyway. Just a bit fractured and distracted. I'm home again now, we headed back to our little corners of the UK wanting our own beds not a night in a camper van on the care home car park. I'm tired but Gareth bless him got me wine which I am self medicating with. Toasting Nana's long and eventful life - that's a story for a day when I have a keyboard and not an iPad to tell how strong she was.
All things considered despite the stress and tiredness of a 500 mile round trip in a day I've not gone all pseudo-relapse (yet - but if I do I know what it is and won't panic)
Best get practicing again with Footprints and She Is Gone - looks like I have to stand up and read for another person that I love


One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me." 
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."

She Is Gone
You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived. 
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left. 
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared. 
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. 
You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. 
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

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