Sunday 25 May 2014

Sunday 25th May - Respite care

This week, my mother is staying in a local care home to give my father a chance to go away and have a week's respite.

It sort of works.

She will be making the best of unfamiliar and less comfortable surroundings, he will be doing his best to enjoy the week without worrying, we will be visiting the care home pretty much every day and bringing in bits and pieces - a bowl of grapes, a magazine, whatever - to try and brighten her stay.

I think that her sacrifice is worth it; because he will have a week without clock-watching to be ready for the carers, without remembering her medicines, without getting up at night to retrieve pillows or deal with the duvet or whatever (not that this happens every night).

I remember, when our children were very small, both under three years old, my birthday present from my husband was a complete day off. From the moment I woke up, until the moment I went to bed, I did none of the usual looking-after-two-babies-in-nappies.

I woke up, had breakfast (he got theirs), caught the train to London, and did whatever I pleased, when I pleased. I didn't have to think about meal times, or loo-stops, or what anyone else wanted to do.

I went and cuddled all the fabrics in Liberty's, pottered into an art exhibition, visited the Design Centre and bought a couple of jigsaw puzzles for the children, went round a street market and bought another jigsaw, which was really a puzzle for my husband, and eventually came home at about ten o'clock.

I "lived" on the memory of that day for several years; when things were getting a bit gritty at times and I was feeling ground down by domesticity, I would think back to that wonderful day. It was one of the best presents ever.

Got to go now - I promised I'd drop to my mother in first thing this morning to make sure that the first night had gone ok.

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