Everything comes to those who wait and shout the loudest.
After months of yelling and compromising, after months of crying and beating my head against a brick telephone finally I have what, we hope, will be a beacon of light for my mother.
Jewish Care, a formidable charity, have a home in Brighton. It is light, airy, and friendly. It smells good. It has open doors into all the administrators offices. It has a view of the sea. It has its own little Synagogue. It has pictures on the walls, it has a lovely refectory, it has big telly screens, little telly screens and a garden where the fish swim around a fountain. It has people who have been there for nearly thirty years, thats the staff. And residents who have lived there for a long time. People come from London, Leeds and now Hertfordshire. I am keeping my fingers crossed that my mother will like it.
The team at Prospect House in Watford have been exemplary. They have battled and despaired on our behalf. The hospital have finally understood and kept my mother in until she was properly placed. Yesterday I got the call to say the contract had been signed between Hertsmere and Jewish Care.
I have more scraps of paper with pencil jottings, times, dates, telephone numbers, than Maplins.
Getting the call was like finding out you are pregnant but still waiting for the test results. Not being able to celebrate until the all clear.
This morning the delicious Ms Kennedy from Prospect house called to say AMEN, the paperwork had been done.
By tea time the ambulance had been booked. 10.o’clock tomorrow morning my mother gets collected from the hospital, at midday I will greet her in her new abode by the sea.
She will be 40 minutes down the road from me, she will have company, she will have 24 hour care, she will have a decent life for the rest of her natural born. She will be visited by me, and them and a lot more. She will be fed Kosher if she wants it, clothed and watered and she will fonally get a fitting end to a life nearly well lived.
I broke down in the kitchen, I cried over my camomile, As the old git painted the ceiling I wept into my teacup.
‘What if she doesn’t like it?’ I sobbed
‘I’ll tell the whole story of what we went through to get it.’ said Gods Gift dripping ‘Banana Smoothie’ emulsion all over the floor.
My wiser, older brother said ‘What won’t she like?’
I know what she might not like. It’s not her home home. It hasn’t got her smell. Its not what she has been used to for twenty odd years. Its a way away from her friends that are still alive. It has no memories and it has no history.
Well tomorrow we find out how she will react. It has been a monumental struggle but my friends, family, even people I dont know have willed us on to break through the deadlock of frustration. I’m anxious that she will hate it but at least I know that she will be safe.
Through my veil of guilt I have suggested that she live with me but I have been told on numerous occasions that I simply wouldn’t be able to cope as her dementia gets worse. So like it or lump it I too have had to give in.
We were lucky that we were guided to a wonderful home I just hope my mother feels the same.
By this time tomorrow my mother will be in her own little room, surrounded by her pictures and tchotchkes, candles and books. By this time tomorrow my mother will begin her new life in Brighton by the sea, her lifelong dream.
Look if Sir Laurence Olivier liked living in the Royal Crescent my mother could do worse, she’s a five minute walk from his front door, okay a five minute wheel-in-her-chair, but at least she’s in good company, and it’s not Hove actually, it’s actually the real deal.
I’m gonna see if I can get an OAP’s discount on the dodgems.
Watch out Brighton here she comes…