Today’s things are: tapestry, comedy, Big Apple
A Longer Visit
I went to visit my Mother in hospital. As a rule, I hate hospitals and try my best not to go there. I often send “Get Well Soon” cards or a bunch of flowers, if friends or relatives find themselves unlucky enough to end up in Hospital but I rarely visit.
My Mum, just like me, hated hospitals and I knew she’d expect me to visit and need me to distract her from where she was.
It was a relatively routine operation but I always worried about her. She had the appetite of a flea. I don’t mean that she bit people, well only when they deserved it, I mean she ate very little.
Her idea of breakfast was a yoghurt drink. Her idea of lunch was half a sandwich or a hamburger without the bun. Her idea of dinner was possibly the other half of the sandwich or just a Cup of tea.
Her frailty always made me worry.
As I arrived in hospital I felt that overwhelming sense of dread and doom that was so concomitant with that environment. I was directed to go to the third floor and into the Danvers’s Ward where my Mother had been given a room on her own.
I walked in and she was sitting upright in her bed, her tapestry hoop was on her lap and she was working away and listening to a comedy show on the radio. When I listen to the radio, I must prefer music, something I can groove to, but Mother always preferred a comedy.
Hoping to be able to get her to eat something, I’d taken along a fruit basket instead of a bunch of flowers. It had a huge Pineapple in the centre with a peach, banana, pear, some grapes and a rather large apple surrounding it.
I presented it to her and she smiled at me.
“Thanks, Love, it’s nice for you to come to see me, but I would have preferred some roses.”
She was always the same. If I’d taken her Roses she would have wanted Carnations.
Next to her on the table was a tray with a covered plate. I went over and had a look.
It was Sliced roast chicken with peas, mashed potato and carrots covered in gravy. There was half a slice of chicken and a little bit of the potato missing. She had taken just one bite and left the rest to go cold. Typical.
“You finish it for me, Love. You know I can’t eat that much, they always pile it on. I said just a small dinner and this is what they gave me.”
It was a small plate and really for most people it would have been considered a small dinner. For her it was a weeks’ worth of food.
I ate the dinner, I can’t stand waste, it wasn’t too bad considering.
We then chatted for a bit. I told her I was looking after Patches, her little Pomeranian. Patches and I had come to a bit of a truce. She would stop biting my ankles and I will stop whacking her with the newspaper. We now got on quite cordially, although when Mum gets her back she’d soon revert to the spoilt little lap-dog she normally was.
I tried to get Mother to eat some of the fruit. She turned her nose up at the Pineapple but said she’d try the apple.
“That’s a big apple. Too big, you’ll have to cut me a slice.” She said.
She always had a fruit knife in her handbag, that had caused no end of trouble when going through security at airports. She’d had to leave so many behind at Customs but she always went a bought another one.
I sliced the apple and fed it to her. I took great solace in the fact that she ate every bite.
“Are you coming back tomorrow, love? They said they might let me go home tomorrow if I ate my dinner. Don’t tell them you ate it for me, will you?”
“No Mum, see you tomorrow” I said as I kissed her on the cheek. She was always the same.
As I left I must have slipped on a grape.
The next thing I remember I was the one lying in bed. My Mum sitting beside me wearing her best blue coat and her handbag over her arm. She had a concerned look on her face.
“Well, it was nice of you to come and see me Son but I didn’t expect you to stay so long.”
I’d been unconscious for two days.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 12/July/2018