Whistling in the Dark
I struggled for ages to come up with a title for this blog post, nothing seemed quite appropriate apart from this one. I’ll leave you to make the link, it does make perfect sense if you think about it for a while. Life can be dark, but we can always whistle.
Every now and then I write a blog post for the Babyhuddle blog, I’m an ‘Elite Blogger’ for them you see. That makes it sound like I fly jet fighter planes for them or something doesn’t it. *giggles*
Anyway, I wrote a blog post about humour and about how important it is to teach our children to laugh, at jokes, at adversity and just in general – simply because humour can often be our solace and our strength when times are tough, the social glue that holds friendships together and it’s just downright fun.
Call me ‘up my own arse’ but I think it’s a cracker and I’d love you to read it. I’m not particularly proud of most of the things I write, but this is one post I’m very happy with. Please do drop by and see what you think!
Here’s the link! It’ll take you to the Babyhuddle site where it’s posted HERE. It’s called ‘You Gotta Laugh!’
It seemed rather an appropriate topic in a completely back to front way. This weekend my grandma who is 94 had three small heart attacks and landed herself in intensive care, where she had another heart attack. The nursing staff and the consultant all thought that she was going to leave us at 3am on Saturday night and funeral arrangements were discussed – it really was that serious.
The whole family has been through hell and back, we’re still taking things hour by hour. Every time the phone rings we all jump, it’s just horrific. This evening my auntie, uncle and I went to visit her. She lay in bed, wired up to massive banks of computers with flashing lights and bells that went off every now and then – she still has her old smile and her laugh, but she’s lost and wandering in her head quite a lot. We’re all hoping and praying to whatever we hold dearest, that she’ll come back to us – but we’re not overly optimistic.
I’m not saying we sit and laugh at the situation, because you just can’t, it’s too terrible to comprehend – but humour and general chit chat oiled the conversation a little, even in such an awful setting. I mentioned that it was a good job the kids hadn’t come along because they’d be pulling out wires and thinking all the computers wired up to her were some sort of huge computer game. My auntie said that she’d spent hours and hours on the phone to all of Gran’s friends letting them know where she was and joked that she was taking on Gran’s role very well in her absence. My sister had sent in a scratch card with Gran’s birthday card, as she’d had so little luck recently, she said that she deserved some and maybe a scratchcard would do the trick. Unfortunately Gran didn’t win the lottery or a vast amount of cash whilst stuck in Intensive Care, but it was fun trying.
If you didn’t laugh, you’d just have to sit there and cry. The occasional silences were deafening, or at least I thought they were. I’m not very good in situations like that and it is so hard to know what to say whilst faced with someone you love in so much pain and in such a terrible situation. But what can you do apart from make small talk about the kids bouncing off the walls at home and joke about how Gran needs a dedicated nurse, just to keep all her birthday cards from falling off the walls next to her bed? I don’t know. I still don’t. I suspect I babbled when I tried. We all just wanted her to feel loved and that we were there for her, it was so lovely to see her smile when we managed to engage her in a conversation and especially to see her laugh (inbetween coughing fits).
Poor love, old age is very, very cruel. If I could lend Gran my heart for a day or two I would – if I could swap legs with her so she could walk for a while – I would. Her kidneys are suffering too at the moment, so if she could borrow my bladder, I’d happily hand it over for a bit. I just wish I could help! She is having the toughest time ever, and all any of us can do for her is sit, wait and hope.
The one thing that gives me a little hope is that she is still as stroppy as ever, I’ve heard my mum doing impressions of her which made me laugh:
*you have to read this with a voice like the queen*
‘Excuse me! I need to have my eye drops at 8am, it is now 8.05am, will you be doing them soon?’
Yesterday when I rang the ward for an update the nurse said:
‘She’s awake, drinking tea and bossing the staff around so she’s not doing too badly.’ They asked my mum if Gran used to be a teacher (she wasn’t) because of her tone.
My mum and I both chuckled at this, we’re both accustomed to Gran’s ways and this is so typical of her. This evening she was drowsy, confused at times and yet occasionally her old self. All I can say is that I hope we hear more funny tales about her being strong willed and obstreperous – that way we’ll know she’s winning the battle. Sadly I don’t think we will, but we’ll have to see.
A proper bit of writing apparently has to have a summary, I’m struggling here. I guess Monty Python got it right when they sang ‘Always Look on The Bright Side of Life’ which as you’ll know if you read this blog, is one of my favourite songs. Please forgive the recap, I know I only posted this the other day.
Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best…
I doubt Gran would approve of this song, I’m not sure she’d whistle along either – but as her loving relatives, there’s nothing else we can do right now, apart from to sit here twiddling our thumbs and well…whistling. It’s certainly all I can do, which is endlessly frustrating.
If anyone has a crystal ball they could lend us, we’d really appreciate it. The next few hours/weeks are quietly scaring the hell out of all of us. Please think of my lovely, funny, caring, warm, wonderful Gran as she lies in her hospital bed fighting for her life and wish her well. Can’t do any harm can it. Thank you. x