A little while since I have visited this blog. At present not in a good place after four months of caring for my Mother after she was diagnosed with lung cancer.
It has been an exhausting period both mentally and physically and in that time I have visited past times and my history. Some fond memories and also some of my worst memories.
My formative years were spent in Hong Kong and probably my keen interest in flora and fauna was nurtured in these years as we lived in The New Territories and I had ready access to the countryside. My parents were both teachers and were contracted to teach in the forces schools. Unfortunately my father had a bit of a roving eye and this led to some some very upsetting moments. Before we left Hong Kong he started an affair with a Cantonese woman which supposedly ended when we left Hong Kong in 1971.
We arrived in the UK and made our way down to my Mum’s parents home down in Polperro. That night he walked out on us supposedly to visit some friends of his in Bodmin, me as a naive child just entering teens believed this deception. The hope and promises kept coming at me for a couple of years of reconciliation before I drew a line on this part of my life and resigned myself to being a child of a split marriage. Once my mind was in this place I was able to settle more easily. My Mum worked her socks off and at this point we were living in Deeping St James and she was part of a steadily growing Secondary Modern which was in the process of becoming a comprehensive school.
Occasionally my dad would get in contact but the intervals grew further apart and I worried less and less about contact, sad I know but life became better without the uncertainty.
As life went on I married my wonderful wife Karan with whom I had a daughter and son with. Surprisingly enough after not hearing from my Dad he contacted me and we were invited to visit him in Micklefield. I felt I had to give him an opportunity to meet his grandchildren and in the spirit of reconciliation we went on our first visit.
We arrived at his home and he greeted us with open arms and all looked good suddenly the Cantonese woman appeared and decided to introduce herself! Once again he had been dishonest with us. However for the sake of family I tolerated this without any outburst. A couple of visits later he informed me that he was moving to the far reaches of Scotland near The Western Isles with his C woman. It felt awful at this point once again at opportunities being taken away again. However in some way I could see he seemed happy so went with it and no fuss made.
When he moved we visited and even though he made us welcome but there was an uneasy truce between myself and the C woman. They eventually married and on a second visit up to Scotland we were not accommodated in his home but in a chalet.The C woman said it was so we could do our own thing and enjoy Scotland. She made sure I never got any alone or quality time with him so I knew exactly who was in charge. I decided a 1000 mile round journey was no longer worth the effort to be in this sort of environment.
About 5 years ago he had a health scare and Karan and myself set off at 2am to Inverness which was his nearest hospital arrived mid morning and rushed to his bedside. During this time once again the C woman made sure I had no alone time with him. Karan and myself took a break to get some refreshment after our long journey. The C woman decided we needed her company in the canteen and followed us down. What I was subjected to in that canteen was unbelievable we had a lecture on inheritance and she more or less implied we had only come up to see what we could get! I had come to see my dad for what I thought was a last time and hoped to give him a bit of comfort and forgiveness. I am not and never will be a funeral vulture!
I went back up to see him accompanied of course and made my goodbyes to him. He recovered but I had made my peace and decision at that point. I knew any further communication would be vetted and supervised/censored which was confirmed as I no longer received any communication from him only her. Estrangement became final and irrevocable sadly.
Back to my Mother in September she ended up in hospital where it was discovered that she had Lung Cancer which in her weakened state and age was deemed terminal. At this point I became her carer which as time went on became harder and harder but I loved my Mum and she needed me.
In the middle of this my Dad died the news came four days after his death via the C woman’s son. I was told the funeral would be Friday Nov 6th but I received an email from her son on Wednesday 4th evening 9:30 saying the funeral had been unavoidably changed to the 5th Nov! Obviously the plan was to keep me away. As it was my Mum was first priority and I had not planned on the journey to enter a hostile environment and be once again accused of seeing what I could get The strain of these months has put a great stress on me but never on my relationship with my Mum. The saddest part of this being I could no longer be her son but purely a carer which hurt intensely. During this time We have had amazing help from MacMillan, St Barnabas and Marie Curie nurses for which I will be eternally grateful. However on the 17th the palliative care organisers rang me to say that they could not guarantee overnight care during the Christmas period.The dam broke as I could not see how to go on and the community nurse discussed with me if my Mum would go into a hospice. My Mum bless her could see how much the strain was getting to me and readily agreed to go into a hospice.
On the 21st of December my Mum went into The Sue Ryder Hospice at Thorpe Hall in Peterborough and the fantastic team stepped in and enabled me to become her son once again. This amazing place looked after my Mum and myself beautifully and made her last days comfortable and gave us valuable and precious time together to be Mum and Son.
I can never put into words how thankful I am to the staff and carers but this is a debt I can never pay back apart from appealing for people to support their fantastic work.
On December 26th my Mum passed peacefully away at just after 1am. This period has been hard but I have met some wonderful people who have restored my faith in human kind which was very nearly destroyed by the actions of the C woman. I do believe karma will get her but could not care if it doesn’t. I hope I am a better person than her and I know there are a lot of very kind and caring people out there.
Love especially to my wife Karan, my daughter Michelle, my son Lawrence. My Uncle Philip in NZ. Also Annabel who did a lot personal care for my Mum and in a brief time has become a valued friend. Lisa Fisher a Marie Curie Nurse who did two nights care for my Mum. Davina another night time carer who came into our lives and formed a bond with my Mum and also visited her on her time off and also came to visit her at the hospice. Ian who has also been a pillar of support.
Thank you all from me my Mum and Family.