annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary



So I'm still faffing about reading old bits of blog. These two bits are from the month Elder Daughter went into the care home - I find I want to share them.

1. Don't leave me this way

Here's the thing. We're bereaved, my family, yet not bereaved as ED is still with us. But when I watch the video I made of her for the fundraising, a short two months ago, it's clear that she can no longer think or communicate to anywhere near the same degree - our chat in the video looks easy from here. And my smart, motor-mouth, multi-lingual, mathematical, politically aware (with a small p), gob-on-a-stick daughter is history. She's still funny, but it's as if she can't get enough air to be fully herself, and now she's gasping. [And I read that through and it sounds so cold and hard, yet I won't dress it up with words of sorrow]

I don't know how to do this alone without closing myself down to other people, people in my real life. I know they care about us at some level - the generosity of the donations to the fundraising, the people who walked in the rain prove that, but I need more. I need an advance on the support I'd get if she had actually pre-deceased me and I know it would be plentiful and freely offered, but I don't know how to ask for it now. I need phone calls, checking to see how I am (I am broken), and cups of tea being offered and stuff I can't manage being done for me. And hugs, real life hugs, and my grief being witnessed. We all need that, my family.

I tell you what else pisses me off:

1. People telling me I must be happy she's in a good place as if that happiness (which I do feel) is not co-existent with the searing pain of her needing to live in a care home, some because they are not having me going anywhere near that, others because they have so little empathy/imagination that they can't see it. Whichever it is, fuck off. Right now I don't like you or want to see you.

2. Our magnificent fundraising total of almost £9,000 did not include a single donation from anyone in ED's life up where she lives now. Not her in-laws, her neighbours, her ex-work-mates, her friends, not one. Yet they are the ones who present themselves as upright, law-abiding, decent citizens who kind of look down on my raggle-taggle family and friends, and they can FUCK OFF as well.

I like this article about how we stay the same as we get older. I particularly liked "I spent my late teens and 20s waiting for some miraculous switch to happen when I no longer felt like myself, which I knew was being a child, and became something much more sensible, which is called an adult. And here I am at 56, still waiting." Me too, me too.

Grateful for: A functioning comment box; a blog to off-load in; my friend Mteach, who took me out to lunch today and ranted about Ofsted the whole time so we didn't get on to ED at all, but I didn't mind, in fact I liked it; not being a teacher in the current system; finding a drop-in restorative yoga class I can walk to tomorrow

Sweet dreams xx

2. My Sharona

A day of two halves. The first was as it's been this last however long - sunk in a flaming pit of pain and despair, heaving myself through the hours, playing endless (losing) games of spider solitaire to stop myself thinking at any cost, not eating or getting dressed, just making a few sorties towards the kitchen but always returning to another quick game or twenty.

Finally, with Bloke, grudgingly made my way to the station and up to London by train, for Son's birthday. Drifted round the National Gallery, not giving a fuck about any of it, then YD phoned. She'd been with ED and they'd had a brilliant day, singing songs, reading and discussing poetry from a big old anthology in the day room, including Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold, a perfect poem for someone who grew up with the sounds of waves on a pebbly beach - it resonated with her and she was able to talk about it. Then they got on to some Shakespeare sonnets, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" and ED wants more Shakespeare. Oh hallelujah, she's back and the mighty weight that has been bearing down on me lifted and floated away. When I say 'back', I don't mean in any major way - the discussions they had were pretty simple, but for weeks and weeks and weeks, she has not been able to focus on anything for long enough to comment and suddenly she's listening to fucking poetry and making comments about it! Oh man.

Then I walked round the corner, straight into St George and the Dragon, a painting I used a lot with Year 8 when I was teaching as there's a great modern poem about it - I tell you, I have scrutinised prints of that painting with groups of thirty twelve year olds over many, many years and suddenly there was the original, painted seven hundred years ago right under my nose. Brilliant. Also happened across the Arnolfini Portrait so that was two I recognised out of far too many, but still cool. I haven't been into art for long enough not to be bowled over by the big hitters. There were other ones that I liked but not many - we were only there for an hour and it was all religious stuff that doesn't do it for me.

Then on to meet Son and hang about outside a tapas bar in Covent Garden, drinking coffee, exchanging birthday gifts (he was thrilled with his dachshund, loved it) and waiting for YD before going on for a meal in some diner Son likes. Fabulous. To know that my girl will be with us, able to chat and voice an opinion, express a need, is the best gift a person could ever have, and then spending the evening with the other two, hale and hearty and clever and funny and such good people. Amazing how a day can turn around.

And my day's walking came in at 11,702 steps. Go me.

Grateful for: a second chance; my beloved bad babies; walking round London feeling good; Bloke being right behind me through the rough and the smooth; yoga tomorrow

Sweet dreams xxx


It's being hard again, but I am still here and so is my ED and my YD and my Son and my GS so it could be worse. Thank you for reading. Have a good weekend

12:24 a.m. - 09.02.19


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