I wasn’t cut out for nursing my mother, that I can tell you. Mom was an angel in hospital, but then they kept her doped up to the eyeballs. After that, she was a handful-and-a-half and crotchety to go with it. Morphine! Morphine! Never mind her, I could have used a shot!
Yes, I know I was uncharitable. She was in pain, and she had just been told her condition was terminal.
Oh yes, Ministering Angels: despite my own irritability (You noticed it? Never!) and grief (less said the better), I was really good – believe it or not.
I maintained a relaxed and even smiling countenance. I mopped up what needed mopping up, gave bed baths, changed dressings, helped up, helped down, ran errands, made chicken soup, made barley water, fetched, carried and got up several times a night when needed. I treated her with utmost gentleness.
She was in pain and grumpy – she couldn’t help it. She said that I walked too fast in the passage, that I touched her too much (how else was I to help her?) and (repeatedly) that I should get breath freshener because my breath smelled of tobacco. It does. I sucked mints for Mom, but one doesn’t first look for the mints when you’ve just killed a smoke and are urgently summoned.
‘Don’t be cross’ she said. ‘Are you cross?’
‘Yes, but it doesn’t matter.’
‘It does matter, very much.’
And now, of course, I can hardly forgive myself for admitting my mild annoyance. I should have lied.
One evening, I stopped at the pub and had a beer. It was nice to relax in a convivial atmosphere for a few minutes. Five hours later, I was asked ‘Have you been drinking?’ and this with a suspicious stare, as if she thought I was about to flake out or puke on the carpet (neither of which are things I do in case you were wondering...)
At the same time, she called me her ‘ministering angel’
‘Yes’ I joked
‘The Lady with Lighter’
She wasn’t amused, poor thing.
Todays' pic. Can't find anything that says something, but this one says nothing at all.