That night there was little time for the beautiful z’s. His wife’s inane questions of do you reckon she’ll be okay and who will take care of the funeral costs were cumbersome and unneeded… “I’m only thinking of the worst case scenario.” She said.
He could not get a word in edgeways.
His tongue was dry and weighty, combined this with droopy eyelids and a sick taste right to his stomach…Now that he was no longer by her side he was unsure of anything. And she, his wife, wanted to be there for him but only in a way that was of no help. Dennis did not have the heart to tell her, come the morning, he preferred to be at the hospital alone.
He slept downstairs, a pillow between his legs, head laying restlessly on the arm of the settee.
Come the morning he slunk off before the kids were awake.
He stuck a post-it note near the cereal boxes so they’d be sure to see it
Gran’s fine, just a water infection, they say!
But on the drive in he could not get her glassy eyed persona out of his mind. She was usually so sharp, he must stress that to the doctor. She was not withered and mental and early Alzheimer’s. She was his mam, quick, rude and loving but always to the point. She could tear anybody down with obtuse observations and rack it all up to a smile. She had a modicum of class, stories to tell and a life yet to be lived…
She was sedate and surrounded by old biddies who all looked far sicker, ill and closer to the grave than bodies already in the ground. Their backs did not work, their voices hollow and skin translucent.
The odd few of them that could walk whined in pain, clung to walls and zimmer-frames. It was painful for these people to be alive. It was tough just to be around them. Life stifled by their presence.
They were loved ones with no visitors, stuck in life’s limbo for far too long. They used to be daughters, have youth on their side, go out Saturday nights and try and find love in the most unusual of places and now, and now…the idea was not worth bearing.
His mam, was sedate up to a point. The nurses explained she had to be drained several times and now has a catheter inserted in her urethra.