Friday, 13 February 2015

Blog #11 - A Sad and Unforgettable Month

Blog #11

Wednesday, 13 August, 2014  -

The first day of July began with a group of ten ladies

visiting for morning tea, a wander through the house
to look at the needlework displays and
make purchases for their next needlework project.

For the past fifteen months my mum had been in the hospital area
of the Taradale/Napier Summerset Retirement Village -
being totally incapacitated - just lying on her bed every day,
not even having the strength to lift and/or move herself
to adjust a pillow or reach for anything.

Therefore, totally reliant on others to do everything for her.

So sad - as that is not life!

Two photos of her - the first one above was taken just a few days
after her entering the hospital area

and this second one
taken on her 84th birthday
- 21 January 2014.

When I visited her on
Thursday the 10th of July
I noticed that she
didn’t look good
and was quite breathless.

On enquiry I was told
that she had a
urinary infection. 

As per usual
I did not visit her
over the weekend
as she always had lots
of visitors on a weekend. 

Mid-morning of the following Monday the hospital telephoned to say
she was not well but did not say it was urgent that I come to the hospital. 
Thus, I arrived at the hospital at lunchtime -
only to find she was only semi-conscious! 
Apart from three hours on the Tuesday (to go home and freshen up
and something to eat) and another four hours late on the Wednesday afternoon
when my brother and his wife arrived - I did not leave her bedside.

She passed away peacefully at a quarter to six on the Thursday morning. 
She and I were alone at the time and so quite a special time for me.
About 9am my brother and his wife returned to Cambridge
and I returned home for some breakfast, a freshen up
and to begin telephoning immediate family and friends of the situation
and after lunch Keith and I returned to the hospital to pack up
and clear out all of her belongings from her room
as per the hospital policy that on the death of a patient their room
had to be vacated within twenty four hours.

For those of you who visited her, you will know that when she moved
into the hospital, Keith and I took the china cabinet
and a lot of her treasures to her room so that she would feel ‘at home’,
and so there was a lot of furniture and things to be cleared out! 
Some of her things can be seen in this photo -

A very difficult task to do, however, as Mum had not wanted to part with her villa
when she went into the hospital area, we carried the furniture to the villa
and the rest we put into plastic crates & took them to the villa
and left them there to be dealt with another day.
Mum outside her villa in early 2013 with Lillie, our puppy -

The next couple of days were taken up with more telephoning to request persons
to take part in the funeral service and telephoning all the friends
in mum’s address book to advise them of her passing.
This latter task took hours.
And then there was all the telephone calls and filling out of forms
to cancel things - mail, phone, insurances, subscriptions
to various organisations, etc., etc. 
And too, there was all the planning of the funeral service sequence -
that is, choosing which hymns to be sung when
(Mum had written down which hymns she wanted);
who was to read what portions of scripture;
choosing of photos and making the photo memory tape.
A lot of the arrangements had to be conducted by phone and Email
as the service was to be in our home town of Upper Hutt
and at what we call our “home” church that we grew up in. 

The funeral service sheets (6 pages) I designed
and typed up myself for the printer in Upper Hutt.
The front cover of the service sheet:
Photo taken on the day of Mum & Dad’s 60th wedding anniversary celebration 

The back cover of the service sheet:
Photo of Mum on her wedding day - 11 October 1947 

The usual stitching Get-together on the last Sunday of the month
had to be cancelled and our family holiday at Taupo
that we had planned for the last week in July had to be cancelled too,

as on Friday, the 25th of July we travelled to Upper Hutt
and the funeral was on the Saturday.

A fine day in answer to our prayers as Upper Hutt can be so cold and wet in July
and bitterly miserable at the Akatarawa Cemetery.

Our son, Rodney came over from Australia for the funeral
and it was lovely for us to see him.

So too, our grandchildren to see their uncle
whom they had not seen for five years.

Rod with his sister, Melissa and her husband, Ross
and his nieces and nephews - our grandchildren -
Jacob  (18 : 19 two days later)
Ashleigh  (20  :  21 in the following September)
Jackson  (11  :  12 in the following November)
Madison  (13  :  in the previous March)
Rodney turned 41 years of age on the Sunday - the following day.
Here we are pictured with our two “grown-up” children .

Returned back home on the Monday to begin days and days
of catching up on all the things that had been neglected for so many weeks.
And so another month drawn to an end.