The title is both literal and figurative.
My Gran has been in hospital for the past couple of weeks. She was taken in after the carer, who turned up to make her her breakfast, found her lying in the hallway. She’d been there all night. She’s OK though. Nothing broken.
Needless to say that gave everyone, especially my Gran, a wee scare but for the meantime she’s in the right place, getting good care, although she’s not too fond of the food…
I spent a lot of time with my Gran as I grew up, staying over most weekends. Or at least that’s what it seemed like. My grandparents lived in a three-storey house, with a creepy basement (I was very young) and huge rooms. They still had the ‘servants bells’ in place as well. So many memories of mine are set in that house, far too many to list here. Of course in the reality outside of the limitations of my childhood memory, I probably didn’t spend as much time as I thought there, but Saturday mornings watching Bonanza, ice cream at the shopping centre and being spoiled by my Gran in the toy shop were formative years for me.
I had the benefit of being an ‘only child’ for 9 years or so and I only found out, or more likely only REALISED later, that my Mum had been spending some time in hospital and that was why I spent many weekends playing snooker on the warped table in my Gran’s basement (bit of a cheat that table, you just whacked the balls towards the top left corner and the curve took them straight into the pocket!).
Zip forward many years, my Grandpa has passed away and my Gran is living in a flat just up the road from where she used to stay, in fact we still pass the old house when we visit her. Then, one day as she is walking out of the local train station, a taxi driver reverses into her and knocks her over. She is given a fright but isn’t too badly injured.
The incident with the taxi happened a few years ago but marks a point, a change, and my Gran has never really been the same since.
The most annoying fact is that, simply, her body is slowly giving out whilst her brain remains focussed, if a little blurry round the edges on occasion. She’s going deaf, losing her eyesight, and doesn’t weigh more than 5 and a half stone (if she’s lucky). It’s sad, almost unbearably so, to see this woman that I looked up to as a child, who cared for me….
No. I can’t finish that sentence.
In saying all that, my Gran is fine. She didn’t break anything when she fell, just picked up some bruises. She still remembers that she has appointments coming up, people coming to visit the house, and can still recall where she left her glasses, recite a phone number she’s dials but once a year. However I don’t think she’ll be going back home again.
I’m certain she hates the idea of a being “put in a home”, she guards her solitude and her “old-fashioned” (I’m being polite here) attitudes may be a slight issue as well – like a lot of people of that era (she’s 86), she has many fixed ideas; the type of people who play bingo, those nice men who can’t help the colour of their skin (again, I’m being nice), and don’t even mention religion.
But I think the fall may change her mind. I can understand why she has fought this step, the final step, for so long. She probably should have been moved to a home last year but hey, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and that’s before we get into how goddam stubborn that woman can be…
It’s odd, I’m skirting round what I think, what I want to say but don’t want to admit. So I’m going to stop now, as I don’t think I can write anything more on this topic. Not yet.