Well lets summarise…….Im 49, overweight, although I haven’t weighed myself recently. I’m in denial of the magnitude of my weight issue but I would guess that I’m over 15 stone.
My hair is highlighted blonde and I’ve recently had denim blue sections to show the word that I’m in full control of my quirky middle aged edge….yeah right!.
I’m second in the queue of a well known high street British baker, I’m scanning the delights contained within the counter and I’m mentally reciting my order.
The 10 or 12 fellow pastry fans in the line behind me start raising their voices to alert the serving ladies that a thief had stolen a sandwich. Apparently a man had blatantly grabbed a sandwich from the refrigerated display and taken off at speed up the precinct. I hoped that this wasn’t going to delay me. Please lovely bakery goods purveyors, please don’t take off in pursuit of the thief. I’m nearly at the front of the queue.
Phew, neither of the two ladies move from their post.
None of the customers had left their precious positions in the line that was now out through the door. Did the thief just decide he hadn’t got time to queue or was he really short of the £2.50 for his lunch.
I’ll never know. I can’t wait to tell Dad, he will love this story.
Right, I’m at the front,ordering can commense. Various savoury bakes and a number of sticky sweet pastries, two carrier bags are needed. I hope one of these items will appeal to Dad and he will at least have a taste. Daily doses of oral steroids give him a false drug encouraged appetite.
Dad has fought an almighty battle with the big C over the last two years. He occasionally tell us that he had had a rough day the day before. Such courage, he would only complain in a retrospective way.
To date, he has had 14 blood transfusions and two courses of chemotherapy a year apart. The cancer started in his prostrate gland, it is now in his bones, stomach and he has tumours on his spine. He went to bed with the help of a lady from our local hospice six weeks ago.
I’m on the way to my parents house to sit with dad for the afternoon,to give Mum a few hours to catch up with chores. My car is loaded up with freshly laundered single bed linen for the hospital bed that arrived this week and my bakery goods.
My husband and I had left him in the early hours this morning, we had been helping mum to settle Dad as he was having night time delirium. Also known as terminal delirium, most common at night.
I had played music, carefully selected tunes that Dad liked. His foot had moved to the rhythm as we had watched him calm and finally fallen into a fitful sleep.
A phone call to Mum a couple of hours ago had included encouraging news that Dad had asked for porridge for breakfast.
My phone was alerting me to a FaceTime message from my brother. I recognised the background surrounding him as my Parents home. My brother’s message was short and clear “You better get over here quickly, he is going”.
Calm enveloped me and I drove on the speed limit. This is the day I thought we could push into the distant future. Positive thinking, laughter and love will stop this happening.
I turned the steering wheel around the last corner and I saw my brother outside by the front door of the house that I had lived in from the age of nine months until I married at the age of twenty two. He didnt move, but I noted the barely there shake of his head.
Quick hug with my brother and I asked “Has he gone?” A nod and I push past him. Mum is sitting in Dads favourite armchair and she is crying. Another hug for mum and I race up the stairs to a closed bedroom door. I knock and question the district nurse “Can I come in?”
Another quick hug with the district nurse and I thanked her for being there. I had only spoken to her on the telephone telling her that I would see her later, two hours previous.
I was left with Dad alone. He was still warm. I kissed his forehead and caressed his hands. Someone had told me that after a passing you should always open the window to let the soul out. The window was open by about a thumbs width. I opened it wide and I described the day to Dad.
I asked him “What am I going to do without you”. I called him a “Silly old buggar”and I stayed with him until I heard the farewell sounds of the nurse leaving.
After the nurse had left I made a cup of tea for Mum, my brother, Dad and myself. What a numptie, Dads mug “Head Gardener” with tea, just the way liked it. I drank my tea and then I drank dads tea. I couldn’t bare to pour it away.