A new year and a new decade has dawned with bright sunshine here in Dorset, we wish you all a peaceful, fullfilling and happy 2010.
Our new year will begin as we ended the last, with a visit to the Cotwolds. The medical people were right, Mother in law is no longer able to look after herself. They are sure that her memory has been deteriorating for a very long time but she has been cleverly disguising it - not wanting anyone to know. There are moments of complete mental clarity, followed by total confusion and frustration, it is so difficult to watch. When I asked how her arthritic knees were she replied, "they're absolutely fine, it's my head that doesn't work!" And that is her frustration, she knows that things are not working properly but can do nothing to change it. However, in one moment of clarity, she did almost persuade the visiting Vicar that she too was a visitor and almost hitched a lift home from him - extraordinary!
Now we need to attend to all of the legal red tape involved in making sure that she can be looked after properly by fully trained staff in a comfortable and inspiring environment, a process that will take weeks or months no doubt. Meanwhile she will wait in a hospital bed not really understanding where she is or why and worrying about her dogs. We have written a long list of answers to her worries - "your dogs are with your sister in Wales", "I have your red coat, it is being cleaned" etc., to ease her fretting. Before we left she had read the notes a dozen times or more, it is so painful to witness a previously proud and capable woman having to try so hard to make herself remember.
So tomorrow we return to the Cotswolds to take extra clothing for her, she originally only took enough to the hospital for a short stay. This is how we shall begin the new decade that started last night with such fantastic promise, a partial eclipse of an amazing full moon, a sight that apparently will not happen again for another 18 years.