Sunday, October 6, 2013

As many of you know, my wife's  +Judy Harrelson,  mum is 99 1/2 years old! As of now I should say she is 99 1/2 years young. Mum fell just after her 99th birthday in April 2013 and broke her wrist and hurt her back after arriving back from a trip to +Sainsbury's where she drove herself to buy groceries.  This was the last straw for mum as she had been feeling worn down from a 2 year fight with shingles. Judy flew home to Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 5HQ, UK (for you google earth fans) to be with her. They had many long and uncomfortable conversations about end of life for mum. Mum was determined to let things take a course because she was giving up the will to live. Then in true Mum fashion she wanted to find a convenient time to depart. This led her to the people she wanted to see and visit one last time and there was no way they were going to see her in this horrible state. So the will to appear a bit better was afoot. Judy and the careers spent several agonizing weeks helping mum regain some normalcy. Then it was time for me to come see the situation for myself and offer some relief and firsthand support to Judy and mum. Once I arrived I saw that mum, a master manipulator, had things setup in a way to be cared for without her own effort. Yes there were lots of damn good reasons given by mum for this, none of which I bought in to. The first thing we needed to do was get her outside to see the world and all the people in it. The air blowing across the face and through her hair. This was accomplished with the purchase of a wheelchair. The first trip out of the flat was simply down to the sidewalk for 10 minutes. Seems brief for all the effort and expense put forth. The result of this excursion was a self reflection and a desire to have her hair washed so she could enjoy the next trip down and not feel like a haggard old woman. Mum's career Florentina was due in 15 minutes after we came back to the flat and a request for a hair washing was expressed and the door was opened. Florentina lept into action before mum could rethink this request. A full shower and hairdo was given to mum and she looked and felt the best she had in some 5 weeks. Mum was so overjoyed by her renewed feeling of comfort she recounted the brief visit to the sidewalk and the wonderful smells that came from the +Thai Elephant restaurant next door. I asked if she would like to have dinner there and she said yes! so back into the wheelchair to go see what was on the menu so we could order take away. Well this led to going just a few doors (several blocks) down the street to see what was happening in town. We made our way back to the Thai Elephant and they had rearranged the tables to accommodate mum's chair so she had a wonderful first day out - eating in a restaurant and not having a take away. There were several more over outings the remainder of my two week visit.

Flash forward to 4 weeks ago and Judy arrived back over for a visit and things were going great. What a remarkable person mum is and determined to do all she can. Judy is home now and has been for a week and in this week mum started physical therapy. Today on the phone with mum she proclaimed in a strong voice how much better she felt and what was on her to do and visit list next time I go over. Tonight she is cooking dinner for Florentina!  Mum will keep up the regimen of therapy so she has a better chance of hitting 100! Her goal is to truly be Britain's oldest charity worker by collecting for @Save the Children when she is 100.