Yesterday, just when everything is in order to get a whole wack of work done, the telephone rang. I have been quite selective in answering or not answering the telephone, even without looking at caller ID. Why look at caller ID when I am knee deep in stuff, it puts me off my pace. I am stalling….. and I did answer the telephone.
You need some back story – mother, married 1st husband, 3 children, husband dies. Father, same, a wife who dies. Then “ta da” they meet, marry and have 3 more children. Are you counting? Yes, that means I have alot of half-siblings. And, NO, we did not all live together. Thank goodness! So… there I was about to plunge into the paperwork when the telephone rang. Capilano Care Residence in West Vancouver calling regarding the only living half-sibling on my father’s side. Bev is not doing well, pneumonia, just back from the hospital and at last contact, she thinks I stole her car, which I did not, the public guardian trustee is in charge of her financial affairs. THANK YOU. Do not want to go there.
I dutifully drove to Cap Care with posies to cheer her up. Guess what, no Bev. They had sent her off to the hospital as she was not eating, drinking and feeling chest pain. Off to Lions Gate Hospital. No parking – of course! When I finally got to her gurney side, she was happy to see me. All thoughts of stolen car gone, (remember I did not take it, the PGT took it). We spent all afternoon and early evening together before she returned to Cap Care. As visits go, it was a good visit. Only once, late in the day were there any signs of dementia. We spoke about Dad a lot and sister Shirley who passed away in 2007. We did not talk about Gran. She was not a nice woman. Selfish, greedy and distant. So…. back to Bev.
Pneumonia has taken a toll on her health. Bev has lost so much weight, merely a skelton of her former self. We talked about life and all it’s travels. Our families, Gerald, my boys, siblings and back to “I always liked you best” which is interesting. I guess being the eldest of the 2nd family, I knew each one more or longer. She seemed content. And, can you say one who has dementia is happy or content? I think so, she is not at the level of not knowing who I am or where she is, just the typical signs of the disease. I seem to be able to pick out the signs quite well now. I don’t expect her to live very long. When one stops eating and drinking, well, the body begins to shut down.
Here is to Bev, a strong woman, a sister who raised a son alone after a divorce, who worked hard and loved her job managing the motor vehicle branch in Vancouver. She is striking in her own way. Bev loves a cup of tea. Hot and sweet just like Dad. She has a funny mannerism, holding her hand in an “O” and just flicking her wrist a little as she grins. It is alright. It is okay. It is delicious. It is sweet. It is the best.
That is how I will remember Bev. Bright eyes shining and the “O.” When her time to go “home” arrives, I know we will have peace. She told me so.
..another wee sunset, light, life and blue sky, from the coastland