Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Just to say

I haven't blogged for a while because there's nothing much to tell. I'm still painting furniture and doing quite well, but I'm hoping it's not a forever job - tis a bit like watching paint dry (sorry, I'll get my coat). By my calculations I've painted circa 90 - 100 items so far, but I keep forgetting pieces, so it's probably more. Alas, my niche seems to be the big stuff, which means lots of grunting and groaning and cussing and back ache.

I've done bugger all on the (law) CV enhancing side of things, there's been no spare time (see below), but maybe in a few weeks time I'll do a bit.

My father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. The initial prognosis was years, rather than months, but things didn't quite work out as expected and he is rapidly losing his battle against the disease. He was admitted to a hospice last week. It's a small(ish) Victorian house, that has room for just 4 patients at any one time. Although he has plenty of (too many in fact) visitors in the day, there were few volunteers for the night shift. Upon his admittance, the hospice staff explained that they felt that my father-in-law had days, rather than weeks. It came as no surprise - each day I had wondered if it could get much worse. I went and sat with him Saturday night. He has lost his sight, has a catheter, a syringe in each arm, can only just move one hand and his voice is disappearing. He is frightened. I set off from home just before midnight and drove through the country lanes in dense fog to the hospice.

I sat quietly, looking at a man sleeping, who bore no resemblance to the person I have known for many years. The hospice had been trying to get his meds sorted out, to get the pain under control and it was some solace to see him snoring his head off, looking relaxed and comfortable.

There were a few things I wanted to say to my father-in-law. He was particularly kind to me a few years ago when I went through a difficult time and I'd never thanked him for his support. He lay there snoring, sound asleep. I prepared my 'closing speech'. Father-in-law never stirred whilst I sat there for a few hours. As I rose to leave, I went over and very gently touched his hand; it was ice cold to the touch - he is so frail, that he can only bear a cotton sheet over him, anything heavier hurts his now tiny, fragile frame. He continued to snore. I whispered that I was going and the care assistant would come and sit with him for a while. I gave my short closing speech with a choked, quivering voice; he snored (loudly) all the way through it! I made my way to the car. The fog had enveloped the Victorian garden and the damp, dark atmosphere was depressing. I felt drained and exhausted. Fearful of falling asleep whilst going home, I wound down the window and drove off. I thought it would be a good idea to put the radio on once I left the hospice grounds, but was fearful that the music would be something depressing. After a brief pause I pressed the button and heard "Wake me up before you go go". I laughed.

When I got home, Barman asked me how his Dad was. I explained that he had never stirred, was sound asleep and free from pain. I said that he'd no idea I'd been.

The next day, when Barman came home from the hospice, he said that his Dad mentioned that I'd visited.