Posts Tagged Nana

Nana? Is That You?

At the weekend I went to the cemetery to see Nana and the flowers she’d been left a week ago at her funeral. I hadn’t been at the funeral but my mum had put together a hand tied bunch of Lillies and signed them from me, Cameron, my brother and herself – the only people who regularly visited Nana and took care of her when she needed it. The rest of the family found it too much effort.

I placed a bunch of Sunflowers at the base of the temporary marker post where flowers could be left until Nana’s ashes were placed in her permanent resting place elsewhere in the grounds of the Crematorium.

I took the photo with Hipstamatic on my Phone but none the less was taken aback when I viewed the photo later to find a mystical glow of light beaming directly down on the right hand side of the photo straight onto the flowers that my mum had left, wrapped with a red bow.

Camera effects or not, what a perfect photo and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

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My Nana has been spending a week in a temporary care home while my Mum, her primary carer, took a week break.

In order to make the unwanted experience as pleasant as possible for her I visited Nana in the home every afternoon after work. Each day I left my office and zipped the 10 miles up to the home on my scooter and chatted for 45 minutes before zipping home in time to meet Cam off the school bus. A busy week indeed and with the persistent rain we had every day, not the nicest of journeys but ultimately not as tough as Mums day to day life is looking after Nana.

With my frequent visits it rapidly became apparent that Nana was clicking well with one of the permanent residents and they were becoming a regular pair to be seen about the common room or the dinner hall.

When I say it became ‘quickly apparent’ I mean that on the first afternoon I visited Nana, the day after dropping her off, she sat forward in her chair as though she’d leant back on a sharp object, only possessing a sparkling grin and raised eyebrows she whispered ‘I FOUND A MAN’ as though it’d been a small challenge I’d set for her.

Jim was a cheeky faced friendly man who always greeted me with a small chuckle. Although slightly slow on his feet I was unable to determine the exact reason for his placement in this home, particularly the special unit which I thought was only for people like Nana, who had Alzheimer’s or similar illnesses.

One afternoon I found Jim and Nana sat at the table together chatting. I pulled up an empty chair and joined them where I spent more than an hour chatting about the RAF, picture cards in cigarettes and Jim’s history working at the docks as a crane driver. His memory seemed impeccable and his sentences were fluid and well composed unlike Nana’s conversations which dart from one subject to another a bit like this:

“I used to buy the price of bread but those shoes she used to have when she was a girl, well someone stole them and then forgot to refund her for the price of a necklace she bought for her sisters birthday. But those slices of bread are much smaller now than they used to be. You know?”

Jim was a pleasure to talk to, not just for the fact I didn’t have to dissect his subjects and reassemble them into a comprehensible format but I also didn’t have to shout to accommodate his deafness because his hearing was spot on.

Eight days and seven nights passed and the course of true love in an old peoples home is not an easy one because one doesn’t like to ask ‘is your wife still alive’ when the fact isn’t voluntarily laid on the line.

I arrived today to pick Nana up to take her home and regardless of being sat in a room with 4 other old ladies she got up out of her chair, grabbed her walker and scooted out of the room without so much as a wave to the others and went in search of Jim.

Jim was found in his room reading a book but he soon came out into the hallway where his and Nana’s walking frames clinked together and Nana held both of his hands.

“You look after yourself Jim” she said, squeezing his hands “it was nice to meet you”

Jim reciprocated and with that, they turned and shuffled their separate ways.

I really wished she’d decided to stay there, if only for the company that’d made her so happy for the week.

Back home Mum began unpacking Nana’s bag and placing her clothes in the chest of drawers when she found a pair of knickers she didn’t recognise. She held them up in front of her and frowned, “these aren’t Nana’s”. I took them and located a small label sewn into the back reading “Lizzy S”.

“Nope” I confirmed, “these belong to Lizzy”.

And that’s when a sneaky smirk came over Mums face

“Put them in an envelope and post them to Jim…….that’s BOUND to stir up some trouble over there”

We laughed!

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