Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Letter from Texas

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all your good wishes, thoughts and prayers.

Just an update:

My gran has improved a great deal. Monday she came out of the coma/delerium and started teasing everyone, but is refusing food and remains on IV drips for nutrition and antibiotics (to prevent infections). There are moments when she doesn't see us, or thinks we are other people, but then she figures it out later; she is also advising and encouraging us all for the future, telling a lot of childhood stories and seeing relatives that she will join on the other side.

It was touching that she declared my Mum was keeping her back - thinking that since my parents split up, she needed her mother.

We had a scare yesterday and we all gathered at the hospital, but she pulled out of that too.
This could go on for days or weeks. (I may have to come back...)

We are arranging for hospice care at home in preparation for when the hospital releases her. So yesterday we stripped the walls, wiped everything down, threw things away and gave away furniture in preparation for the hospital bed being delivered today.


In better news, 14 of us gathered at Red Lobster for a feast last night - my cousin Elizabeth paid and we teased her because she is director of London charities, but she said it was OK since paying dollars makes it half price.

Last Saturday, most of the cousins in town got together for dinner as well, at a fancy Grill at the Galleria. That was expensive but we split it.


I haven't been able to see my friends in the area because our car is the day taxi and my mother can't drive well at night. I don't know Dallas and am not allowed to drive her rental car - I've never been stopped by police in my life, but she won't relent. This sucks because you'd think there would be enough time in the day, but there isn't. Someone always needs to be driven somewhere, or there's shopping and cooking to do, or hospital visits, or something...I can't ask Gigi to come and get me because she can't drive outside of her familiar area, plus I am afraid of the disability controls she uses. It's not fair to ask my other friends to come here either...anyway, I leave tomorrow...

But we have to remember this is not a pleasure trip. Mum and I were arguing about that, on the way to Gigi's house because we were halfway there when Mum remembered that some family friends who had been keeping boxes from our house in their giant garage had finally allowed her to go there in the afternoon and pick up what she wanted. We argued because I had promised Gigi I'd see her, but I got blamed for an arrangement I had made the day before with her approval simply because she had found out later that we could get our stuff.

She had also given them a lot of things...It is weird going into people's houses and seeing your own furniture and decor integrated into every room. It happens all over the family now - reminders of our former life have been dispersed into all their homes in Texas, Canada, and England. Most weird to see my old Peter Rabbit keyring hanging out of my uncle's pocket...

So yesterday I was taking family photos out of frames and putting them in a folder so I can easily bring them with me to London. Some were specially mounted and framed, so those my mother will take to Canada and store under the bed.

Life is full of changes, isn't it? Sometimes we have no choice but to go along with it, no matter how much you must lose.


Katja said...

Both of my grandpas held on for a very long time, until they'd reached a certain goal (my maternal grandfather waited for me to get there and say goodbye, my paternal grandfather made it to his birthday, making him the longest-lived member of our family). Your granny will go when she is ready, which is hard for you all, but at least you are all having the chance to spend time together and say goodbye to her. xxx

Selba said...

Hi.... nice to hear from you again and that your gran has improved :)

Anonymous said...

I FEEL SO AWFUL!!!! I am the worst friend ever! I thought I had read your previous post correctly, and I was way off!!! I apologize for misreading about your grandmother! I AM SO GLAD THAT SHE IS OKAY!!!!!! Please forgive my absentmindedness and stupidity haha.

I hope all is well over there...I will say no more.

Memoria, your insensitive friend :(

tooners said...

yes, life is full of changes.

i hate that your in dallas for such an occasion... i only wish it was on better terms.

it's good that your grandmother has come to and is able to see all of you. and i find it very touching as to why she says she is staying...

take care of yourself.... i'll be thinking about you and praying for your grandmother.

Beenzzz said...

Seems to be a very bittersweet time for you. Your granny is ill yet, you are able to see your family and spend quality time with them. Take care, ok.

The Moody Minstrel said...

I'm amazed that your grandmother still seems to be so sharp despite her condition. Not many things in life are more painful than going to visit a grandparent in the hospital and having them think you're their older sibling.

Hopefully things will be over quickly one way or the other. Long waits not knowing how it's going to turn out make it so much harder on everyone.

ML said...

I'm glad to hear that your granny pulled through. A difficult time for you and your family.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hi Olivia, how's your grandma now? How are you all doing? In times of crisis, that's when families argue most. It's the stress, fear, worry, that cause it. Change can be so unkind. Hope you all are well.

lunaliar said...

It's okay that you didn't get to visit your friends, we all understand, although it would've been awesome to meet you! Hopefully you got some real Tex-Mex and some queso in you before you left!

jia gives hug said...

I hope your gran puls though, I do wish you family all the best.

Olivia said...

I've heard from others that this sort of coming and going happens a lot when elder relatives are on the way out.

So thank you all for your words of encouragement and concern.

I am now back in London :)

Olivia said...

Ooh I wasn't going to do individual replies, but you've all said something different...


Katja - she is totally ready and very frustrated that she is still hanging about! But yes, saying goodbye to her on Wednesday with a clear mind, and to hear her lovely words on my future, that was worth it.


Selba - thank you. I don't like being away from my blog too long. It's like a meeting place, isn't it?


Memoria - chill, chica! Do not worry about anything you said. We all thought the same thing!
You are very very sensitive and I love you loads!


Tooners - thank you so much. You don't reallise how important closure is until you have it - and I guess with this, and her farewells to us the other day, I have it beforehand. So I am glad I went, before it was too late.


Beenzzz - bittersweet is a good word. At our family dinners we enjoyed ourselves, which is only right. It was nice to bond with cousins who have grown up a bit since the last time I saw them.


Minstrel - None of us expected to have to have this long wait, Granny most of all, which is why she tried so hard to leave us last week! To no avail.


MLn - thanks. Yes, difficult, awkward, but an amazing time of bonding nevertheless.


Gyal - it has been a blessing that there was no quarrelling. Gran's children held a meeting where I took minutes, and they agreed what was to be done with her. The grandchildren had the same meeting later on using the same minutes, and came to the same agreement.
I thought that was wonderfully done! Even the change of plans from home care to nursing home took place smoothly.


Luna - I was so counting on meeting you. It's funny how one overestimates how much personal time will be available.

My cousin made me queso using a whole block of Kraft cheese, Ro-Tel, and chili. It was yum, but it would take me a month to finish and so I told her to have a party this weekend!

I didn't get any Tex-Mex, but I had chicken fried steak twice!


Thanks Jia xx
I thought of you when we flew over Nfld. It took about 5 hours to reach there, as it is halfway.


Lotus Reads said...

Hello, Olivia!

This is my first visit to your blog. I love London and was drawn here by your blog name, also, I think we have mutal friends in the blogging world.

Sorry to hear about your keep us posted.