Wednesday, 12 November 2008

I was born under a wand'rin' star

[image from the ever-inspiring postsecret]

I accepted a Voluntary Redundancy package from my company yesterday. My life is going to change in the coming months and this is likely to affect my contact with my Mum.

The office where I signed the forms is about 10 miles from the Home where my Mum lives, so I travelled on afterwards to see her. I think it prudent to drop in unannounced from time to time.

As I came into the Lounge, I spotted Mum leaning out of an armchair, her attention fixed on a conversation taking place at the dining table. She was smiling, rapt in fascination, and I was instantly glad that she is here now, surrounded by activity, and no longer isolated and unvisited in a flat 300 miles away. 

Mum was delighted to see me and started introducing me to everyone: staff and residents that I already know by name, having met them dozens of times over the past year. Mum told me that she kisses a picture of me every night before bed, although she's previously told me that she does that with a portrait of my Father, so I'm not sure if she wasn't a bit confused.

I started going through Mum's 'Life Plan' folder, signing my name to observations and suggestions made by the staff: the Home is very diligent about telephoning every time the Doctor prescribes new medicine, but they were keen that I leave some written record of acknowledgment.

So I was sitting there, turning the pages and reading about Mum's mobility problems and thinking about my own mobility plans - the possibility of doing some traveling once I've worked my notice. Just then, one of the Care Staff walked behind my chair, talking with an IT technician about a webcam.

I had intended to ask about emailing Mum from wherever I was in the world, but it turns out that they've just installed a webcam on the computer in the Lounge, so I might even be able to chat to her face to face from Outer-Whereveristan.

I'm not superstitious normally, but it's moments like these that make me feel guided by angels.


citygirl said...

It is a good feeling to know that your mom is better off at the facility with loads of company and activity around her than sitting alone in an apartment, isn't it? So good to feel confirmation that you made the right choice for care.

Sorry to hear about your work situation but I always feel things happen for a reason.

Very neat about the webcam - can you imagine how your mom will react if she sees you on a screen? I shouldn't laugh but there are some images that are just priceless.

Sorata said...

Wow, you almost brought me to tears with this one...

I still remember when I first start reading your blog and you were still trying to make a decision on whether to put your Mom in a Home and how worry you were... it really came a long way didn't it? I can imagine the relief on your face when you see her sitting there with people and laughters surrounding her. The Home also seem to be doing a very good job. Seem like they care about the family just as much as their residents.

I hope the work situation didn't get your down. The change might be a little intimidate at the beginning, but I am sure it will get you somewhere nice.

Greg said...

Yes, Citygirl, just seeing her enchanted like that was an image I'll keep with me. Most of the other residents have family visiting all the time and some bring in their grandchildren and great-grandchildren - Mum loves infants. It's truly the best place I could have found for her. I'm amazed that I chose so well for her when I can barely look after myself.

I'm picturing her, too, reaching out to touch the screen when I'm on webcam, the way she points to the little digi-frame I gave her for her Birthday. We'll see if it works out. Otherwise, I might see if I can send her little DVD postcards from my travels.


Greg said...

Hey, Sorata,

You're so right about how far we've come in the last year. Thanks for the reminder.

No, I'm not down about work. It's been entirely my decision. The company wanted to lose a certain percentage and I've been pretty miserable for a while. I felt like it was killing me working in this job that felt so alien to me. So it's convenient that the company is offering us an incentive to go - about 6 months pay, enough to pay off most of my Mortgage, too. Sure I'll miss the amazing salary, but I'll have time to read and think and write, and the opportunity to travel - you and Scott have a few months to prepare a guest room in your new pad [joking?... maybe]

Now that Mum is settled, I can see a point coming where I will be able to go away and not feel so guilty. This has been a wish of mine from the start - I couldn't have done it when she was living on her own and needing so much help with her life over the phone, but now all her needs are met by the Care Staff and I think more relatives will be visiting her. This webcam will allow me to talk to Mum and her Carers from wherever I am, which is more than I could have expected.

Life is good when your situation is made better through a recession!


ChickPea said...

Fantastic ! So very glad you can take an objective view of all this, Greg, and can see the opportunities available - sounds like a great care facility, chance for some time for you, and the ideal moment to follow that star....... Enjoy !

LSL said...

Just catching up and am so pleased for you. This sounds a little serendipitous (too tired to find the correct spelling of this). Wonderful - and impressed by your courage.

BigAssBelle said...

it's not superstition, sweet man. but angels are out there, making these things happen. what a happy thing.