It’s been a few days since I posted because sometimes real life kicks in and demands my time and effort. And to be totally honest, I think you need a rest from me sometimes. I base this on the fact that even I get tired of my own voice and ramblings.
I wonder if other people ever have that feeling. Do you have moments where you just have to shut up and feel the peace?
I’m probably giving you the impression that I stuck a band-aid over my mouth and sat beneath a gooseberry bush until I felt I could bear the sound of my own voice and insane ramblings but that isn’t true – well, not quite.
On Friday morning I learnt of the death of my cousin, Ray. We had been very close in our younger days but not so recently. Ray was older than me and someone I looked up to. He gave me my first record player and a few Country and Western 45s. It used to be called that ‘in the old days.’ Now it has been trendily shortened to Country. I hadn’t had the radio on for a few days but I suddenly decided I’d put it on. Immediately, Gentleman Jim Reeves burst into life, singing, I Love You Because. This had been Ray’s all time favourite artist and song. Some people don’t believe in signs. I do.
On Friday afternoon all mobiles went ballistic and we discovered that Richard’s mum, Betty, had popped out her bionic (hip replacement) hip, by lifting her leg too high whilst putting on her knickers, and was being ferried to the hospital faster than greased lightning. This was a disaster on two counts. One, because she had actually done it, again, and two because she has a real belief that people going into hospital at the weekend die a slow and lingering death, lying on a trolley, in a deserted corridor.
Whereas I can do nothing about the fashion in which she puts on her undies and pops out her hip, I can do something to prevent the latter. She, or anyone else close to me, will NOT be left dying on a trolley in a deserted corridor and become a NHS statistic! Even if it is my unofficial mother in law who, on a normal day, swings happily between accepting me as her son’s chosen one …and not so happily accepting me as her son’s chosen one. What can I say? You can’t win ’em all and frankly I stopped trying many years ago. I’m probably being unfair. I tend to be. Usually. I think I have grown on her over the years. A bit like – fungus.
We found her eventually after miles and miles of rabbit-warren type corridors. Richard has his own way of following signs and directions. It is a system which usually leads us back to where our confused journey began and does nothing for my very short temper. She was elated to see us and we spent the next two hours waiting for the junior doctor to arrange a time-slot at another hospital where Betty would need to go to have her hip put back into socket. Apparently, the hospital we were at had a bed but not a slot in the operating schedule. Another hospital, a few miles away, had both.
When they came to transfer Betty onto a trolley, to take her to the ambulance, the female doctor asked me if, in her words, I could ‘eyeball the old lady opposite to stop her getting off the trolley,’ on which she was lying, waiting to be seen. I had no problem with that and toddled off to speak to her. I’m sure she was 105 if she was a day. I asked her, very loudly, how she was. She said, ‘I’ve been all around the world you know!’
‘Really?’ I said. I wasn’t sure if she meant physically or since they had pumped her full of morphine!
‘Yes,’ she said.
Jolly as ever, I said, ‘Lovely. Have you been to Australia?If I ever go anywhere I would love it to be Australia!’
She gave a slight suggestion of a smile, shook her head and said, ‘no, I haven’t been to Australia.’
‘Oh,’ I said. ‘Have you been to (pause) …America!’
The smile widened slightly.
‘No, I haven’t been to America.’
‘Er …OK … I know where you’ve been,’ I said, lovingly stroking her arm. ‘I bet you’ve been to …(another pause) Hong Kong!
See how I was making it a lovely, jolly game?
She laughed and said, ‘no, I haven’t been to Hong Kong.’
I had to giggle – honestly. ‘You haven’t been around the world at all, have you? I think you are playing a game with me?’
She giggled as well before saying, ‘I’ve been to the Mediterranean.’
I would have loved to have stayed and chatted longer and to make sure she wasn’t, in her loneliness, forgotten, but Betty was ready for the off. My little old lady’s parting words were, ‘You have to make a noise you know or they forget about you.’
I don’t think anyone was going to forget about that little soul. She was so sweet and had an eye-twinkling sense of humour. I would have loved to take her home – if only to hear about all the places she had visited on her worldly travels??!!
Take care my lovelies x