Friday, 18 December 2009


Despite the title which is the same as my latest Cat Rescue blog posting (plus grammatically correct comma), this isn't a repeat of that entry. It's taken from a Sandy Denny song but I'm buggered if I can remember which one, and neither can I remember the next line. I'd know it as soon as I heard it of course but as I can't remember the title I can't play it. It's even more appropriate today than it was yesterday. While I can't say the snow is out in force, it has been cold with chilly winds and the occasional snow flurry or light fall (as it is doing this moment). It's nearly half eight in the evening and, from the number of cars in the street, that, and the fact that the snow is lying even in the middle of the road where the cars drive up and down suggests that just about everyone is tucked up warm in their houses.

My poor brother in law, Nick, along with Viv his wife, and son Alex are currently stuck in traffic on the A1 near Wetherby in North Yorkshire. No doubt the snow is slowing the traffic and it's very likely to be much heavier where they are rather than on the coast where I am which is much less prone to extremes of weather, bad and good. They've been to Hull to pick Alex up from the university where he's just completed his first term about which we might just extract a little information from him if we're lucky as he's not the most forthcoming of kids. Nice enough lad, though.

The snow, though still light, is thickening and I may be going through to Gateshead in the morning. Hope it's better by then.

The reason I'm going through is because I got a phone call from the manager of the home where my mother resides. She has, I've been told, been eating very little for a few weeks now. They've had the doctor out to see her but appears not to be medical. It may be that she's just forgotten that she hasn't eaten anything or it may be that she's finally given up. The manager, though she didn't state it bluntly, clearly believes my mother doesn't have very long and rightly thinks I should see her for one final time.

I feel sad. I feel relieved. I feel guilty.

She's been suffering from dementia for a number of years now. Quite probably she had it long before it was actually diagnosed. That could account for certain things she did which rather alienated me. Over the last three years it's been getting noticeably worse and the worse it got the more it pained me and the less I visited. I've never been the most dutiful of sons and even now, in this blog, I can't admit to you how little I have been to see her.

It's been nearly two years since she last knew who I was. Her conversation had become increasingly incoherent for some time before that and eventually any meaningful conversation became impossible as she withdrew into her own world. We don't know, we can't imagine, what it is to be like that, though many of us will find out. Having seen my mother in that state, I have now come to understand that there are worse things than death which I now fear less. I don't want to end up like my mother. I would sooner have no existence than that.

Again, I feel guilty. I should be feeling sorry for my mother; instead I feel sorry for myself.

Outside it's cold and the snow continues to fall albeit a little lighter than a few minutes ago. Tomorrow will bring what it brings.

1 comment:

Philip M Ward said...

Winter winds, they do blow cold
The time of year it is chosen.
Now the frost and fire
And now the sea is frozen.
('Winter Winds', Fotheringay, 1970)

You might be interested in my Sandy blog at