Thursday, November 29, 2007


I'm standing at the train station with The Husbands Aunt. She is rummaging about in her bag for her Senior Citizens Free Travel Pass which she cannot find. Having her stay with us this past week has been about as stressful as having to care for three four olds with a three minute attention span . She's a lovely lady but not the lady she used to be any longer.

The Station Master takes pity on her and allows her to travel back to Sligo free of charge. I put her into a carriage with plenty of seating and remind her that all the instructions, platforms, times for her connecting train to Sligo are in the front pocket of her handbag along with my name, address and phone number in case she misses her connection. I kiss her goodbye and stand back as the doors on the carriage close. I wave as the train pulls away from the station and feel disappointed with myself that I am so happy she is gone at last. Happy that I don't have to answer the same question time after time, day after day. Important questions like, you know, do I use loose tea? do I use loose tea? do I use loose tea? do I use loose tea? do I use loose tea?

It's been a very hard week actually; what with Sarah getting the vomiting bug in the middle of night on Monday and me getting a cough that just seems to get worse the moment I put my head on the pillow at night. Frankly I'm exhausted. I'm also worried. Worried that a lady in her middle stage of Alzheimer's should be travelling alone on a train at all and worried I'm the one who put her on it, that she'll miss her connection at Connelly Station, lose her purse, have to sleep overnight in the waiting room, forget her name and have her photo on all the front pages of the daily newspapers, be on the six o'clock news headlines tomorrow evening and have everyone point at me and asking "WHAT IN CHRISTSNAME WERE YOU THINKING OF ....?

At home I keep my phone close by me as I clean the downstairs of the house in case she calls needing help. I clean till the rooms are gleaming like this bottle of Absolut Vodka I bought on Monday

because I've invited seven girlfriends to my house tonight. &then I feel disappointed with myself again. Because I'm happy that she's gone.


jothemama said...

For better, for worse, for ailing old in-laws, I suppose. Still, why did you have to put her on train? I feel surly about the way women have to take on emotional responsiility for their husband's family.

Marian said...

Ellen, you shouldn't feel guilty, you did your best for her while she was visiting, it's always lovely to have visitors, and it's always the case that after 5 minutes you start to want your house back to yourself. I don't know anyone who wouldn't feel exactly the same as you do.

*Ed P said...

You are here, she is there. While she was here you looked after her, it was your time together. By giving her attention and listening to her you were giving her love. It's the most we can do for each other. You can only be here now, don't be in Sligo or some waiting room in a state of worry. Send her love and ask your God, Angel, Guide, Lifeforce or whatever, to look after her.

She is on her path and you're on yours. You have shared moments together. Now you share them with someone else and she does too.

May the blessings be.


(I don't know where that came from but I hope it helps)