Today I felt angry.
It didn’t start out that way.
At 11.20 am we were sitting upstairs in the eco shop and cafe drinking coffee and eating carrot cake. Sunshine had filled the outside tables, which line the high street as if it were a street in Southern Europe . The once desolate and empty grey pedestrian stretch is now so transformed; by the fruit trees, roses and flowers in large central planters and the unique plants put out by each business in barrels or shelves or boxes; that it feels like a park. Today, as on many days, people sit outside, amongst the flowers, chatting.
The planters that started this greening and the charm, that persuaded so many different individual store owners to get involved, came from my mum. I FaceTime her to show how lovely it looks and to check discharge plans. The care team is going to call us she says. They haven’t so my dad rings them. His gradual change of expression and quiet ‘yes I see’ tell me somethings up. When he hangs up he tells me they can not find enough nurses to support my mum at home. So she will have to stay put till they can. It could change at anytime.
Feeling powerless is huge part of what makes watching someone die of cancer so awful. Yesterday getting the room ready I felt some control again. This news has taken it away.
When we get to the hospital the pretty small dark haired discharge co-ordinator is all understanding and apologies. She assures us they will get mum out as soon as they can: but it could be a few days. She has the lovely warm humerous lightness of tone that I have appreciated before in the palliative care doctors and nurses. But today it makes me angry and I have to bite my tongue to stop myself railing against the chronic underfunding of the NHS that means that my mum has to spend some of her far to few last precious days in hospital rather than in her beloved home.
Rather than dissipating my anger churns in my stomach making me unable to eat any of the sticky ginger cake and fruit we have brought for mum.
In the car discussions about how we are organising mum’s final visits ignite my anger again and I snap at my sister. I stop my self speaking out loud and instead rant internally. Mum’s limited days have made us territorial: each wanting to carve out time for ourselves. But we know there are people she wants to spend time with. Extended time, not just a 5 minute goodbye forever phone call, like the one that mum had today to a close childhood friend and which made her cry for the first time.
As the car returns to Halesworth I try to distract myself from negative thoughts by checking my mail. I see an email from our realtor. We have sold our UK home and are buying a house in the states. It’s the most amazing home and, when things are hard, I do the virtual walk through of the house online checking out the island in the kitchen, looking out the window at the swimming pool, walking in the walk through closet. When I open the email it says ‘please ammend the contract’ to remove me as a buyer. I reread it in disbelief and ring my husband. Crossly asking – what’s happening? Reminding him that though the mortgage is in his name a large part of the deposit is mine.
I feel the rage like a wave but as it crests I am in floods of tears. I planned this trip to spend two weeks helping my mum continue to recooperate from in her major operation in July and to support my dad who was getting exhausted looking after her as her recovery stalled. To save time I packed light: only hand luggage . Now I am sitting in the spare bedroom not knowing when I will see my beloved husband and teenage kids again. A cruel turn of fate means that the kids are without passports and my husband is locked in at work. They can’t come here. I have now been apart from my kids longer than I ever have in their whole lives. I am also needed back there to complete on the house in 16 days when we have to sit in a room with a notary and sign bundles of documents. This is now looking tricky. I can’t leave my mum in her very last days.
I feel certain that being removed as a buyer is because I may not be there to sign the papers. Even though my husband denys it. I feel like I want to smash something but I don’t.
In the end of the day its sorted out. I will not be removed from the contract. My sister and I agree over the visits. I accept that its best to wait to have mum properly cared for on discharge.
I know that I am not really angry at the realtor, or my sister, or at the discharge manager but at the universe for taking my mum when she still has so much left to give.