March 16, 2009

Blank Spaces

It's all over now. My mother-in-law died a fortnight ago. The funeral has passed and now it's time for the quieter period, where we have to empty the house and decide what's going to happen to her treasured possessions. For me that will be the hardest part, as I know how I feel about mine. It's bothering me more than any other responsibilities I've taken on board since her dying days.

Since November we've watched her go downhill. The most distressing part was watching her mind lose it's usual rational self. For an old bird she was still quite on the ball, even as her body and strength failed her. But what a battler. Well surpassing any prediction of time left that doctors 'prepared' us for. It was heartbreaking seeing her so jaundiced and gaunt.

Her death however, did bring some unexpected joy. My husband has an estranged brother in London and I did my best to try to trace him. My daughter suggested the social networking sites ect, as a long shot. Under Sod's law, (I'm a relative) my own computer broke down weeks' beforehand so I had to try this via my sister's one, and as luck would have it we managed to find not him but his sons on Facebook with the sad news that their gran had died. They hadn't heard from their father either and were grown men now, but it was a great comfort and joy to have them and their mother up for the funeral. Seeing my sons with their cousins helped immensely. Their mum Maryse was a great support. Four foot eleven of utter strength and faith.

It's my marriage I am seriously worried about. I'm finding it difficult to understand what's going on. I know he'll miss his mum dreadfully, I will, too. But there's a wedge, piece not fitting right. Grieving takes time, that I know, but I'm losing him. In all honesty I'm afraid of my future. I always seemed to be the stronger one, decision maker, but nothing I seem to suggest is right. The most upsetting thing for me was sitting in the crematorium next to him. During a hymn, I reached for his hand but he pulled it away. Adam, my son, then took mine, squeezing it tightly.

I can guess what the problem is. It's because I didn't go with him to visit her in the last week of her life. But I was battling with my own demon's then. A few weeks before I was suffering from really bad palpitations. Anyone that has suffered from them can tell you that for not being life=threatening they are still terrifying. Initial treatment for them wasn't working. I was on useless beta blockers for them as it was pretty obvious that stress was the culprit. For the whole of that week, I hid away upstairs, on my own, feeling a pest. Trevor didn't need the extra worry of me on top of all things. My son's took compassionate leave from school and college to help. Eventually, I was forced to go on the strongest amount of beta-blocker under modified release. Thankfully, this worked and they kicked in before the actual funeral. But I know I'm still being seen as being selfish by my husband.

Mind you, I was always there for the determined old bird too, and the nurses told me that she seemed cheerier on the days I visited. That meant a lot to me. But even just after I met my husband, he let me know that his mother would have to be a huge part of his life. He adored his father, Frank, but he died shortly after his mother took her stroke, promising on his death bed that he would always be there for his mum. And true to his word he was. I suppose it can hurt a little when everyone keeps asking how Trevor is coping. Apart from my fantastic mate and friend next door, Liz, ( she cooked a huge meal and comforting soup for the guests back at the house just after the funeral, bless her!) no one seems to care if I'll miss her or not.

So I'm lost right now. Kind of in limbo. Unsure of my future. I'll be visiting my daughter in London soon, and might even consider a move there. We'll see. One thing I do thank God for is my two wonderful son's. They've had me focusing on their music, still finding the opinion of an old fart important. Sadly, The Valentines played their last gig recently. They left taking the title of Battle of The Bands 2008, winners, and they even got themselves on to a compilation, STIRLING ROCKS (7 quid from HMV) album. They have promised James Trimble that they'd play again just once for the summer tent in Calendar park. Their studies have to come first right now.

Ross was head-hunted for another band, Casino. Whispers have it that this is a band that could do really well. They've recently uploaded some songs on Myspace, which includes a video of Waiting Up, the song Comedy Dave's wife is raving about. Fingers crossed for Radio One. They play at the Martell in Falkirk on the 28th, and the NME is going to be there for a review of them. As much as the ageing Indie as I am, I can honestly say that there are better songs to come. They write songs from personal experiences, like I used to in my younger years. If I were to try that today, I think the honesty would be too hard to handle.

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