A drop of vintage port

Apparently when my grandmother (my father’s mother) was very unwell after having her third child, my uncle, she was advised by her doctor to drink a couple of small glasses of vintage port every day!  My darling daddy has remembered this and is quite keen to have some too!

It has been a strange old week.  I have been in the privileged position many times as a nurse over the last 5 years to witness and support a family through the time when they have to face that treatment and medication is not working for the member of their family who is unwell but I’ve never really believed that I might be on the receiving end of that situation.  There aren’t really words to describe that feeling.  Holding Mummy’s hand yesterday when the lovely Registrar Barbara told us that Daddy had not responded to the treatment and that they were considering that it was time to just treat the symptoms and make him as comfortable as possible, I felt like I wanted to turn to the doctor and say, “hey, that’s my daddy you’re talking about, that can’t be right, my daddy is going to live forever”.  It is a strange and terrible feeling being on the side of the patient and not being one of the professionals supporting the family through it.  

But this is the junction we are at.  Time to make Daddy comfortable.  It is a strange time, and feels slightly surreal.  You find yourself laughing at things that are funny, even though you feel like you might never find something funny again. But when something is funny you still laugh – chatting to Mummy on the phone this morning as she stayed with Daddy last night, we got the giggles at the visual image of Mummy donning a hospital gown for a nightie and possibly revealing a little bit too much flesh! One really does have to laugh.

I had to laugh last night having driven up to London to collect some fresh clothes and also collect my cat  Monkey to bring home.  Monkey does not like car journeys, what cat does!  I don’t like car journeys with my cat.  From the second we set off at 10pm to when we arrived home at 1am she kept up a persistant meow literally every few seconds.  The microphone picked her meows up rather clearly, so I phoned every member of my family to share her torture with them, although sadly I couldn’t share down the phone the rather unpleasant pong that pervaded my car after she did a poo! She is now sniffing out her new kitchen, and I’m rather relieved Mummy is at the hospital, as she is sitting on the kitchen table.

So, I think the plan might be to transfer darling Daddy to a hospice today, or possibly to come home, we shall see. Our darling Luke, his grandson, will soon be on his way down from Glasgow, so we shall all be together over the next few days: Mummy & Daddy, Catherine, Luke & Matilda, Nick & Rita with George, Emily & Bertie, James & Annabel with Cordy and Georgie, and me.  We are quite a crowd and in our rowdy way I hope we make our Dad proud.


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2 responses to “A drop of vintage port

  1. alice johnson

    Darling, you’re write so beautifully about such a difficult situation. My thoughts are with you and all my love xxx

    Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 07:41:23 +0000 To: alicemjohnson@hotmail.co.uk

  2. alice johnson

    Oh and I forgot to say: as for vintage port -I think it is an answer to many, many questions! But if a vintage is not available, a good option is to put a shot of even the cheapest port into a half pint of Guiness: as a the gran-daughter of a rather exceptional Irish Medic, it was given to all for just about any ailment and is heartily recommended if a decent vintage example is not available! Again, lots of love,Alice x

    Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 07:41:23 +0000 To: alicemjohnson@hotmail.co.uk

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