Friday, 17 June 2011

What a week that was!

Thank goodness this week is almost over, I know you shouldn't wish your life away but let me tell you why I'm pleased to see the back of this week. A few weeks back my mums sisters husband (my uncle) died, unfortunately my dad had not long come out of hospital himself and we were unable to take them to Norfolk for the funeral. There had obviously been many phone calls between my mum and her sister over these last weeks and my mum was quite concerned that my aunt was not coping as well as perhaps mum thought she should be. I could see my mum was concerned about her & being the dutiful daughter and volunteering my husband services as a driver we offered to take mum and dad to Norfolk on Wednesday to see my aunt.
I should perhaps explain here that I barely know this woman, she's 85 years old but as I've explained in the past my parents moved us to a new town when I was very small and away from the extended family. The only contact I had with them after that was the short visit we paid to my grandparents every Christmas and an occasional visit when I stayed with my cousin during some school holidays. So although I obviously know she's my aunt i don't really know her if that makes any sense, but Wednesday morning we picked my parents up and headed off to Norfolk.I know the weather was awful in some parts of the country but where we were it was incredibly humid, sticky and warm, the kind of weather that really does not suit me. I wasn't having one of my good days unfortunately and the journey itself took an hour and three quarters, quite an uncomfortable journey when you're not feeling particularly well yourself. Listening to my parents in the back of the car bought a smile to my face now and then, both are now quite deaf and to listen to the answers they give to each other's questions can be hilarious. Although Trevor knew how to get to Norfolk we needed the sat nav for the last part of the journey, unfortunately my dad insisted he knew the way and to have him competing with the sat nav for the last 10 min was quite frustrating. We pulled onto her driveway and there in front of me was my aunt , she looks the same as I remember although much smaller, isn't it strange how old people seem to diminish in size? She greeted us like long lost friends showed us around her garden and then gave us a tour of her bungalow. There had been talk amongst the family about whether she had Alzheimer's but from the conversations that we had sitting in the living room with her I would say that was highly unlikely, she appeared confused at times but given that she is 85 and had not long lost her husband that's not very surprising is it? Apparently at one stage when Trevor and I stepped outside she asked mum and dad how long they had known us and were we their friends? So maybe I wasn't such a memorable niece after all.
We had told her that we would take her to the local pub for a meal at lunchtime and here started the next bit of fun. My elderly aunt has arthritis in both legs and her legs no longer bend, unfortunately due to my condition mine don't either ! Obviously we can't force Aunty into the back of the car with mum and dad, she has to sit in the front, this meant that somehow I had to get into the back of the car , I am not going to go into detail about how we achieved this , all I will say is thank goodness nobody was standing watching our performance.Dinner in the pub went surprisingly well, the food was lovely and auntie did eat the majority of her dinner, I had a soda and lime with my meal and realised at that point I hadn't actually had anything to drink since my eight o'clock morning cup of tea, I wish now that I had thought to drink more during that meal as for the rest of the afternoon back at my Aunts house there were no more drinks forthcoming, she never thought to offer and we didn't like to ask. It makes sense to me now why I felt so very ill on the journey back home, low fluids and the heat of the day combined to make me very rough indeed. Thinking about it I guess this is a bit of my 'I don't like people to know how disabled I am' attitude coming in to play, I couldn't physically get up and make a drink and in front of someone I'm not sure of I won't ask so I suffer in silence. And so for another three hours I sat there until we felt we could leave to come home . My aunt waved us off happily with a promise to visit again soon. An hour and three quarters later I was home and only fit to fall into bed, and that was Wednesday.And Thursday? Well on Thursday we had a funeral to attend. The funeral of my parents 95 year old ex next door neighbour. I wouldn't have gone normally, but once again without us my parents wouldn't have been able to attend. As it turned out I was pleased we went as the poor woman only had 12 people there including us, the vicar conducting the service was very quietly spoken and used long drawn out pauses for effect and I have to say the highlight for me was during one of these pauses when my dad, who was obviously having problems hearing what was going on piped up 'are there sub titles?' It seemed sad to me that she had lived to the grand age of 95 and so few people were there to celebrate that fact. The service lasted no longer than 30mins even with his pauses and after dropping my parents back home we were home ourselves and another day was nearly done. Again I felt wrung out, tired enough to just fall into bed, I'm not sure why I don't seem to have coped so well this past week but I am glad it is nearly over.


tinysuz said...

Well that was the week that was! Hopefully, the coming week will be a ot better for you 

john said...

Hope you feel better now Penny

onethoughtfulwoman said...

What a week of duty and obligation. Glad it is over for you. I think when you have ageing parents with a disability yourself, it is all too easy to put yourself last as they rely on you for transport, etc. Intriqued to know which part of the Norfolk woods this was, and whether it was anywhere near me. There is always the kettle on here, if you are passing through again and need a drnk:-)

Anonymous said...

Another well written blog Penny, you are a good daughter, and I am sure you would do it all again, because you are a kind hearted lady,Hopefully next week will be a little more restful for you and Trevor. Keep them bloggs coming Penny xx
Eve x