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Day 765

On and on

When I called in on Ma this morning she was sitting on her chair in the dark, dressed. She looked terrible and gasped, ‘I can’t… I can’t…. I just can’t’. ‘I want a pill to make me sleep forever.’ I explain that it will be better in a few hours time. The morning is always the worst time of the day. She says, ‘I wonder if I should just go into a hospital.’ ‘But there is nothing wrong with you.’ I add, speculatively,’Maybe a home for old people?’ She shakes her head forlornly. No, that’s not what she was thinking. Patiently, but impatiently, I tell her that there is nothing wrong with her, only old age, which all the thousands of people in their late 80s, suffer from. She closes her eyes half way. She doesn’t want to hear.

It’s been two long years she has been saying this and yet, when it came down to it, she had the heart operation which extended her life. I feel irritated and impatient. I am gentle, knowing I will be out the door shortly.

I settle her with her breakfast. Poor N is at the table with her. They say nothing to eachother.

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