Aside from the Levellers of course, each of whom are great levellers – but I digress before I started. The song that opens with the lyrics in the title is about heroin addiction, but can speak ‘the c word’ I’ve written about before. This time it’s struck a little closer to home, indeed, it did some time ago – my Grandad now finds himself on a hospice ward in Nottingham’s City Hospital with probably less than a week left to live.
I’ve been to see him a few times – principally just to give comfort by my presence rather than being any practical help, as well as a bit of moral support to my Dad who’s been performing heroics in both visiting and practical duties. It was difficult to listen to Grandad fretting about – of course – Granny and her wellbeing, but also the worries and niggles of every day life that, even now, he is only just managing to let go of and let us take away from him.
Seeing a man who hasn’t always been easy to get along with, but has always been there, stripped of his dignity and self-sufficiency is really rather tough – despite the fantastic care he receives from the wonderful staff at the hospital. But you know, you can kind of accept it as what life throws at us, and at the end of the day you just kinda have to deal with – as Shakespeare would have it – the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
I thought that at least until today when I visited along with my Granny. My Granny suffers with a case of dementia which means her short term memory is not great. This means that my parents and aunty get the heartbreaking scenario where Granny discovers Grandad is terminally ill, again, like some sort of sick version of Groundhog day. Fate is a cruel mistress indeed.
All being well his suffering won’t be for much longer, then we face the prospect of at which point – if ever – Granny will be able to commit his passing to her permanent memory. Ouch. What a sad way for three score plus years of marriage to be drawing to an end. I always relish getting involved with my work’s events to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support regardless, but this year’s events it will be with a bit more gusto.
In cheerier news my replacement phone got sent out today. God that sounds shallow.