I feel like I have done a full circle in a year.
Last year, we spent half term in Cornwall, on the beach with Dad and my sister. Healing time. Family time to hold each other after the sad times of putting Mumbo in a home for the first time. Father and daughters time, for him to help us through the grief and painful time of losing our Mumbo, seeing her behind locked doors, shuffling, drugged. And for us, with the grandchildren to give him focus and a void to fill.
And here were are again. Healing time. Family time. This time a different kind of loss. But a similar pain. A similar need for distraction, unconditional love of family, to be held… and to be looked after. To give me a focus and a void to fill.
As Bambi and I walk round the house with sticky notes, sticking green, yellow and blue labels on furniture, pictures, lamps, ornaments that we want to keep, the 4 grandchildren rag around. They open drawers and cupboards and find old army whistles, the old wooden imperial measuring sticks, they too lay claim to their prizes, their memories, their heirlooms, their treasures.
Dad provides us with one of his legendary meals. And Edna couldn’t have dished up a more welcome, comforting meal; savoury mince, mash and carrots. It feels like she has been part of the family for decades, and a calming presence in emotional turbulence.
And tonight, I am in my childhood bedroom. This time a small boy snoring at my feet. Perhaps as I ate today, I will sleep tonight.
And besides, another small victory for the ‘strong independent woman’ today; my car broke down as we stopped half way down from the north to the south. But I bought jump leads, and waved them around the front of my bonnet, and played the damsel in distress. It worked. I still have no idea how to jump start a car, but I know I will always be able to find someone who can!