Christmas Eve morning. 2:45am.
BANG! and then fizzzz….
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Goes the NBN emergency battery box.
THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! Went my heart and I sat up straight in bed.
Restlessness set in and within hours I discovered why. It wasn’t the loss of electricity that kept me awake. It was a sense a surprise pregnancy and an undesired move would not be the only unfolding events in our lives these summer holidays.
The phone rang at 9:30am to break the tension.
My grandfather had finally had enough trying to hide from us this past month or so. Nan had called the ambulance at 2:50am as Pa struggled with extreme abdominal pain and breathing difficulties. Like the bullheaded man he is, he fought the entire time, eventually giving into the emergency care.
The old bull trudged through two days of precarious treatment. Doctors wanting to avoid surgery due to his chronically bad circulation. Finally, upon council between his two sons and specialists, they decided it was the only potential help. A Do Not Resuscitate order was signed. The medical staff relieved that at least this one time, a patient’s family wasn’t trying to prolong the life of someone in such ill health and advanced years.
Stubbornness won again with him surviving the removal of part of his intestines. No bag either, but completely delusional. Regularly muttering about the bakery he sold 35 years ago and repeated attempts to remove the various attachments form his saggy skinned body ensured the hospital’s rostering a special for him. These special assistants in nursing, brave persons ensure he doesn’t escape or terrorise the rest of the patients in his petulant state.
I was volunteered for a few days to stay with Nan. Her agility is definitely compromised. She seems to be on her arse more than her feet these days. We enjoyed ourselves as best we could under the circumstances; binging on documentaries about Scotland, the land of her mother and father, a land she never got to see because of my Pa’s firmly planted feet.
I’ve since shipped her to her younger sister’s place. They are having plenty fun watching old British sitcoms like One Foot in the Grave. Though, a sadness sits behind her eyes. She says she just misses her chair at home. I know it’s because she knows she’ll have to leave her home forever, sooner than later.
Unsurprisingly, Pa’s recovery is still ridiculously slow. Two weeks have passed and we are impatiently waiting for the news that we either find him a nursing home or send him home making him eating Meals on Wheels. Either way it may send him off to the great beyond.
As I sit here, sipping peppermint tea to ease the agitation in my own stomach, I wonder what will actually transpire in the next few months. I’m not sure 2017 is going to any less intense than its predecessor. It feels like the opposite of flux, anti flux and it was confirmed by a little premonition.