“SHIT WHAT WAS THAT?”
It was the Saturday before Alan died, they were forecasting a bad storm. A man from Hospice had called me in the morning, for a status update – Alan hadn’t opened his eyes, or accepted any food for several days and he told me Alan only had a few days left to live. I can’t begin to describe the pain in my heart, and I went out into the garden……. with tears rolling down my cheeks, started digging furiously venting my frustration on the heavy soil. Finally, when I came back into the house, I decided to make a cup of tea and go into the bedroom and sit and talk to him. As I was sitting there, I remembered that Jackie had made a beautiful miniature picture frame for the photo she had taken of us at Christmas, and I thought I’d put it on the lamp between our two beds, so that it was the last thing I saw each night.
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo was playing on the TV, with the sound of the marching bands echoing through the house and I went and got the photo and removed the shade from the lamp. I still couldn’t get the little metal chain and frame where I wanted, so I removed the harp, then the bulb and as I pulled the picture frame down on the lamp, I got an enormous electrical shock; the lights and video went out, and immediately, as clear as if he was there, and with the same exasperated attitude, he opened his eyes and said very loudly “SHIT WHAT WAS THAT”? I burst out laughing, his eyelids closed again, and I thought what am I going to do? The storm was rolling in, we had no lights in the house, and I was thinking how will I raise the hospital bed, to change him.
In that split second, I became acutely aware, that even though he had been non verbal for some time, his hearing and understanding of what was going on around him was still there. He’d heard everything I’d been saying to him. It is known that in times of crisis, the English always rely on a good strong cup of tea to be a major comfort, so I went and poured another cuppa and sat in the darkness talking to him for assistance. Eventually, the penny dropped and I went into the Garage and tripped the breakers – we were back in business.
I could always rely on Alan to make me laugh!