Sorting Out

This week’s visit to Aged Parent began with her informing us that she had woken up in the middle of the night to find a man standing over her bed. Did she find out who he was? How did he get in? Did she lock the door? Aged Parent is actually quite good at locking her door – to the point that people delivering her meals from the kitchen downstairs can find that it has been locked between courses – which is no fun when you have an armful of sweet and sour chicken and a fruit cocktail trifle to follow. So I am really quite alarmed – who is this man who has got into her room – using keys – in the middle of the night?

Further investigation by HOH revealed that the man in question was a carer, he had visited her before, had come to bring her evening tablets and “the middle of the night” was about 6.30 pm.

“Well I was having a nap. It felt later.”

Dementia can be really cruel. Usually to me.

We decided to sort out her dressing table drawers this week. I have been putting it off for a while but was aware that the amount of dust was approaching levels that were going to get my photo on the Neglectful Children notice-board – again. This job would not be so overwhelming if AP didn’t insist on keeping every piece of jewellery she has ever owned or I have ever owned. This includes love beads bought in 1972 (mine), a solid ivory rose (hers), a keyring bought on a day trip to Paignton and Christmas earrings that she would never wear because she doesn’t like anything like that.

All tidying is done under careful supervision because AP doesn’t trust me as far as she can shot put me when it comes to promising not to throw anything away. (She is correct though). It also slows things down quite a lot because lots of things are wrapped in bits of newspaper to keep them clean. At one point I came across my grandad’s enamel badge from his factory. He was a wire drawer – in the days when many factories were only on nodding terms with Health and Safety.

Me…Is that where Grandad lost his eye?

AP…Yes, when he was ill I used to clean it for him.

Me…Really? You were a very dutiful daughter. (Feeling vaguely guilty for some reason)

AP…Yes. In fact I still have his eye.

Me…(A bit warily) Oh really? Is it here…somewhere?

AP…I expect so…somewhere. (Losing interest at break net speed). Did you bring any pineapple cakes?

Me…Yep. I’ll get them for you. (Closes all drawers in the dressing table and leaves the room)

After that, we spent a pleasant hour going through old photos and apart from a dodgy moment when she placed her son at her wedding when it was really my Uncle Phil – it was really nice. We left her with a cup of tea and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.

“It’s about Ingrid Bergman. She stops feet binding and leads hundreds of orphans over the hill away from the Vietnam War.”

Hurrah!

On an entirely different note, this week was the funeral of Dr Bex Lewis. She died of metastatic breast cancer. I didn’t know her but she was once very kind to me about an online thing which is above and beyond for a busy online expert type of person. She seemed to be very lovely and a lot of people are broken about her death. And I hate cancer so much. I just wanted to add my condolences – “May she rest in peace and rise in glory.”

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8 Comments

  1. March 8, 2021 / 12:07 am

    I knew nothing of Bex, but you are the second Blogger to mention her this weekend. May God comfort those who mourn her passing – and especially her nearest and dearest. Somehow it seems more painful to lose someone now, and the tagline “the death was not covid related” irritates me. I understand why it is used – but it somehow implies the death was not as significant as the ones in the daily charts (next slide please). I helped a relation clear her APs understairs cupboard once. We put 200 ancient copies of The Peoples Friend in the recycling. She insisted we got them back out again in case there was a recipe she needed (even tho she hadn’t prepared her own food, let alone baked a cake for years)

    • lesleyps91
      Author
      March 8, 2021 / 9:55 pm

      “People’s Friend” My Nana loved that!

  2. March 8, 2021 / 5:49 pm

    I remember the angst of going through all mymother’s belongings years ago. It was hard. I’m determined that my children wont have to sort through photos of people they have no knowledge of, not to mention all the other impedimenta that I’m hanging onto. (Cos it might come in useful)

    • lesleyps91
      Author
      March 8, 2021 / 9:52 pm

      Funnily enough – we are both quite enjoying going through things. Unfortunately, we are throwing very little away.

  3. Karen Dobson
    March 9, 2021 / 10:01 am

    I feel guilty now AP keeps hinting that her admin cupboard ( think box room !) Could do with clearing . Need to do it. Love looking at old photographs , your Mums wedding dress wa stunning, can’t beat a good Salford wedding , I’m on many a family wedding picture withmymums handbag aka suitcase . The Inn of sixth happiness is a lovely film. One of our preachers actually met the missionary in real life. Oh how I would have loved to be in that meeting. So sorry to hear about Dr Bex, RIP

    • lesleyps91
      Author
      March 9, 2021 / 8:04 pm

      I’m not digging around in there until that eye is located 🙂

  4. March 10, 2021 / 10:06 am

    I am everlastingly grateful to my own parents who down-sized four times. My father had inherited quantities of stuff from his mother – her father was a fairly-well-to-do clergyman living in a huge country rectory back in the 1800s. (Think Barchester Towers!). On one of the occasions they disposed of huge quantities of things that I know I would have been unable to deal with dating back to Victorian times – scrap books of visiting cards and menus, and dinner services (mostly complete) originally for 24 people… all went to auction for someone else to treasure. Somehow the elaborate Edwardian candelabra just don’t look congruous sitting on a pine table in living-dining room in a suburban semi… how things change.
    Yesterday I finished shredding 5 years of bank statements – I know there are decades of paperwork yet to go! But like Barbara says, I’m determined not to leave all this ‘stuff’ for the children (I’m having nightmares about our loft…)

    • lesleyps91
      Author
      March 10, 2021 / 7:57 pm

      I mean, I understand how overwhelming tidying all would be – but it does sound amazing

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