While away at the New Adventures Conference in January this year, I had the news that my mum had been diagnosed with a tumor. It was localised, and there was a good chance of success, but as it was on her tongue and throat, which made speaking (and understanding) increasingly difficult.
The following months were a tough slog of various preparatory operations, before 5 weeks of radiotherapy. It wasn’t pleasant, but the treatment ended with a feeling of optimism. She was however, left feeling very weak from it all. Just a week later she contracted pneumonia, and was rushed into Warwick hospital to be treated.
My two older brothers and I dashed up to see her, and got a shock. Compared to her condition just two weeks previously, she was even more fragile, as if she’d aged another 10 years. In the few days that followed, she came in and out of consciousness. On occasions we were able to communicate a little.
On the morning of Thursday 10th May morning she seemed stable, to the extent where I started to believe that recovery was possible, even if it meant a long term recovery. Within a few hours we learned that it wasn’t to be, and were told this was it.
Whatever horrible things she had to endure in the last 4 months, in the end, she died very peacefully in a calm private ward, with her three sons and brother with her. The nursing staff of Warwick Hospital who looked after her (and us!) were nothing short of fantastic. We really couldn’t have asked for more of them.
(Mr Chuckles at the front there is me)
My mum’s name was Dorothy, and was known to her many friends as Dot. Her brother always called her Fred, while her sons decided in the early 80’s that they were going to use ‘Ada and Bert’ instead of ‘Mum and Dad’, and the name stuck. Whatever she was called, everyone had the same impression of her: an exceptionally kind and caring lady. She was also exceptionally stubborn and strongly refused a lot of help. I really wish she hadn’t.
My mum gave me so much, she was the best you could ever hope for. Our family have lost our rock, and now there is a painful void. I just hope that the memories of the last few months disappear, leaving the rest intact.
Goodbye mum, I love you and miss you so, so much.