Thursday, February 25, 2016

Just another Chapter

Hi guys it feels so good to be back, so what has happened?..
After Al lost her Dad, a decision had to be made as to who was looking after Al's Mum.. This decision was an easy one as we had both agreed with Al's Dad before he passed away that we would do anything to make sure that her Mum stayed in her own home, something her Dad had done..
So our lives were turned upside down and Derwent6 was rested in a marina and plans were made for us to live in Kent..  Christmas 2014 was not a happy one with losing Alf and looking after Pam who had Alzheimer's.. We did manage to take her out on Christmas Day, but she kept falling asleep and was very sick on the return journey, and we were not able to take her out again from that day on..
So we were carer's and tried to take it in turn's to care.. We did manage to go swimming and get out when we could, but separately.. We also had some respite from a company called Crossroads and they gave us some time together on a Monday afternoon for two and a half hours and every other Friday for three hours.. Without this we couldn't have done it..
Del could only cope for about three weeks and then had to get some de-stress time back home on Derwent6, to recharge his batteries, as well as the ones on Derwent6, before he could do another three weeks.... Al could only get away when her sister or friends could look after her Mum.. We must stress that Pam was very easy to look after, even though she was immobile and had to be hoisted everywhere. We had carers coming in three times a day to help us and the local surgery and district nurses were also brilliant, we had so much support..  All these things kept us going..
We lost Al's Mum on the 4th January 2016 and we thank her so much for getting through a very difficult Christmas 2015.. It was the first time we had not had a Christmas dinner on Christmas Day, as Pam took a big dip, but funnily recovered on Boxing Day to manage to eat our turkey and she even managed some Christmas Pudding, which she really enjoyed bless her..
Even at her bedside on the 4th she managed to mutter out the word's " Thank you for looking after me" we both cried..
We had some lovely moments with Pam, she made us laugh and gave us some fantastic memories that we will treasure. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease and takes all those memories away from us all but we did have a lovely "Long Goodbye"..
Another good thing we did was get a new addition to the family. We got a kitten and called him "Tooty" as all Pam's cat's were called Tooty. We hoped she might remember his name if we kept using it, she never did! He was a ugly little thing when we got him and was the last one in the litter as no one wanted him.
Pam loved the cat, watching him play, climbing the sofa and the curtains and feeding him cheese on toast when we wasn't looking.. The cat helped Al when Del wasn't there, and gave her someone to chat to and comfort her in the evenings..
So what we up to now? Well, we are sorting out probate and also the house in Kent. Del is having his knee looked at and we are getting back to Derwent6 when we can.. We just want to say that Brinklow Marina have been brilliant in helping us out through this difficult time..
The house is a difficult one for us as Al was born there, and all our courting was done in the area, 37 years ago, and we have quite enjoyed the village life, not that it beats the boating life... I guess we just have to let time take it's course..
So we are now back on Derwent6 for a few days and loving it.. Del has done his brasses and Al is back to reading her books and keeping the log burner topped up, lovely!
Today we have filled with diesel, had a pumpout, and filled with water and Yes! we have Tooty with us..  He loves it! He has turned into a lovely well loved cat, and I'm sure you will be hearing a lot about his antics in the future..
We will blog when we can or when we are back home but look out for us, we might be out a lot more now..
Yes it was just a chapter, a moment in time, and we have lost some lovely people in our lives, and that loss will take some time to come to terms with, but life still goes on, and it just reminds us you have to enjoy it while you can...


Nev Wells said...

Heartbreaking but heartwarming....we have been on that journey twice now and are on it again..... enjoy your time now

Nev NB Percy

Sue said...

Funnily enough I have been thinking about you both quite a few time this week and wondering.

You both could not have done more over the last few years showing the care and love you have for others. There will be so many wonderful memories for you both too.

So it is nice to see you back writing something on the blog but sad to see you have lost some love ones in the meantime.

Welcome home xx

Sue said...

Oh and welcome Tooty to this mad world of canal boating! You are going to love it!

Anonymous said...

Sending my condolences and very best wishes for the next chapter in your lives.

Carol said...

Hi both,
You’ve been through a very tough time lately, but a very worthwhile time too giving the best you can to those you love and love you. There will be many memories to look back on although it will take some time to recover from those events. We’re really glad that you’re now able to look forward being back on D6 with your new crew member and hope that we see you on the cut or a river in the not too distant future. xx

Nb Yarwood said...

Welcome back. I am so heartened to read that you made Pam's last year full of care and love, well done you two.

Geoff and Mags said...

So sad to read of your second bereavement, but glad you had the opportunity to say a proper goodbye. Hope to see you at some point. Keep well

Anonymous said...

It's so good to hear from you on the blog - I feel for you - such a difficult time for all concerned but it sounds as if you were wonderful carers.

Hope to see you on the cut sometime soom.

Take care both

Sue & the IndigoDreamers

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

You've been missed, as you can probably tell. Nev summed it up perfectly above...and I shall hug my mum a little tighter tonight and be thankful for everything. Take care both, I wish you happy times ahead


Judith nb Serena said...

So sorry for your losses, you did all you could. The next chapter is to come and that is your chapter and Tooty's too. Look forward to reading about it and hope its not too long before your back on the cut.
Judith nb Serena.

KevinTOO said...

Welcome back, we've missed you.
It sounds like your last year has been an emotional rollercoaster indeed.
However you seem to have been excellent caring carers :)

Del and Al said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments, it means a lot. Yes it was hard at times but also very rewarding and just felt like the right thing to do, and we were lucky enough to be able to do it. It's feels a privilege to have been able to look after Mum and to keep her at home where she felt safe and secure, right up until the end. it does put everything in perspective and makes you realise what's important in life........

Paul and El said...

Glad your back guys after such an emotional time, welcome to boating pussy cat.

Paul and Elaine xxxx

John and Fiona on nb Epiphany said...

Welcome back. So glad you were able to give Pam a happy time before she died. Now its your time. Enjoy

John and Fiona on nb Epiphany said...

Welcome back. So glad you were able to give Pam a happy time before she died. Now its your time. Enjoy

ertuck said...

I hope everything goes O.K. for you after your very sad time ,and that you continue to enjoy your narrowboat lives.Plus you have the added enjoyment of Toots ,what an ideal pet cats are and just give that added homely touch to your boat...

Pip said...

Welcome back! Sorry to hear your sad news Al. We are now in the same situation as you were. We have sold Windsong as Mum needs looking after, and we felt that we wouldn't get much use out of her, better she went to someone who could. Windsong is still at Brinklow at least for the next week or so. If you are heading back there, go and have a look and see if Peter, who has bought her, is around, and say Hi.

We will be following your exploits while we are land-locked so keep posting.

Pip & Roger. xxx

Halfie said...

Del and Al, I'm just catching up here. Very sorry about Pam, but how fortunate she was to have had you two to look after her. I trust the probate gets sorted quickly and easily and that you will both be able to relax back into the boating life.

Look forward to bumping into you some time... (Crick this year?)