Good evening folks, sorry for not blogging, but I have been elsewhere.
My real Dad, Reg, died very young aged just 39. This was in 1972 and he died from heart problems and smoking related diseases. At the time medical knowledge of the impact of smoking wasn’t as advanced as it is now, and although they knew it was harmful, they advised him when ill not to smoke, but he did and it killed him.
My Mum was just 36, my brother Steve (who sadly died 2 years ago) was 13 and I was just 6. Mum was a trooper from what I can remember, having several jobs and getting by ok. No credit in those days, but we never went without.
Some years later my Mum met Barry at a divorced and widowers ‘dance’ where she used to take me on a Saturday evening. Barry and my Mum soon became an item and quite a few years later he moved in with us when we all moved to a bigger house. Now, me being a typical teenager, was an absolute cow sometimes, and needless to say, we didn’t always see eye to eye. In fact it wasn’t until I reached 16 or 17 that I began to appreciate him for the step dad he had become. Barry and my Mum eventually married in 1987 after being together for many, many years and between the lot of us there are many children, grand children and even a great grand daughter!
Barry is a proper mad DIY-er and even a bit fanatical with it. He definitely make-do-and-mends, putting extra bolts, hinges and booby traps on everything possible. Even at almost 80, the other day he was adding extra strong bolts to an iron garden gate, not that the original bolts were inadequate, but he just wanted to ‘make it stronger’! His sheds of tools, jars of screws and rawplugs, bits of wood and shed-drain-water-diversion-system is the subject of much hilarity. Bless him.
However, at 2.51 am this Tuesday morning, my Mum rang in great distress. The ambulance had been called and she was waiting for them with the door propped open, at my Dads side. I say ‘Dad’ because he is my Dad, he has been my step Dad for 38 years and despite my teenage turbulence he has been there for me, and my family too.
Chris, my partner and I beat the ambulance to the hospital and as we walked towards the door, we saw them pull up. Dad was quiet, Mum was stunned, and they rushed him into rescus. After the initial panic to stabilise him, it turns out that Dad has had a pretty massive stroke, however at the time it wasn’t apparent just how devastating this was to be.
The bedside vigil, tests, doctors, scans and some considerable hours later, my Dad is admitted to a specialist stroke unit and I guess here is where the long haul of rehabilitation begins. He is still very poorly, it looks as though it was a bi-lateral stroke (both sides) as he cannot move. He can open his eyes, acknowledge us there, cries from time to time, and sighs quite a lot.
Since 2.51 am on Tuesday morning, life has taken another strange twist and turn. All of a sudden nothing else matters. What matters now is that my Dad has every opportunity to improve, and hopefully get better. He wont ever be the same again, we know that, but we want him around even if we have to hide his power drill.
Today he seemed a tiny bit brighter. He was on slightly less oxygen and it looks as though he was trying to swallow. These tiny steps are progress. We want him to pick up his paper and wave his finger at us, but for now I guess that will have to wait.
So, I leave this post to say I have so much to be grateful for, and so, so much to hope for too.
Get well soon Dadxxxxxxxxxxxx