Yesterday Cathy and I shared the driving and went to visit Margaret. It made the journey pass quickly in her good company, even though I still felt tired after the travelling to Brixworth and back. We had a toilet break on the way down and swapped positions as drivers, which worked very well, even though Cathy had to concentrate on driving on the left, as she mostly drives on the right and driving with gears. She drove very well and made me feel very relaxed. It took us two and half hours to get there and we found Margaret dozing in the lounge. At first she looked at us vaguely without registering who we were; we both talked to her but there was no response and Cathy suddenly started to cry and she could not stay; it reminded her too much of her beloved friend Kate, who had been unable to speak before she died last September of a tumour. She hated to see Margaret like that. I suggested she go for a walk and a drink, whilst I stayed to chat. I understood how she felt as I wondered if Margaret knew I was there at all. Then a lady who worked at the home stimulating the residents came up to Margaret and her face lit up and came alive. I noticed how the lady touched her and she responded to the touch and her presence. After she left I took Margaret’s hands and stroked her face in a similar way to the lady had done and I began to be able to chat more easily with her. I reminded her of how she had helped me relax and go to sleep by stroking my forehead. I thanked her for all the great things she had done for Fran and me when she took us on holidays, like in London. I found that although the room was very warm Margaret’s hands were cold and they began to warm up in mine. Joanna a lovely carer came to chat and suggested that Margaret could have her lunch in the lounge to give us more space and quiet. Joanna said that Margaret knew how to make her like dislikes known, such as custard or milk puddings, even though she did not speak. Joanna brought over a lovely meal of lamb casserole with vegetables and chips, which Margaret obviously wanted to have; she is still very independent as she tried to get food on her spoon so she could eat. I tried surreptitiously to put food on her spoon as if she saw me do that she folded her arms and then deliberately tried to knock that off the spoon. When she folded her arms it made me remember how she would always be suggesting that I should sit up and not slouch at the table!! Joanna thought it was lovely to hear me chatting with her. Cathy returned but decided to say goodbye to Margaret and wait until I was ready to go. She saw Margaret smile and gave her, her hand and Margaret reacted to the freezing cold hands, pushing her hands under her arms to warm them up!! I stayed for just over an hour altogether, before joining Cathy to go for lunch. I was pleased that Margaret took my hands and squeezed them just before I went and gave me a lovely smile. When I gave her a hug and a kiss she responded with a smacking kiss, which made me feel as though she had recognised me as family in the end.
Cathy and I then went for a meal and a relaxed together before we set off home. There was a lovely atmosphere in the pub, where Cathy chose tomato soup and a roll and rhubarb crumble and custard whereas I had jacket potato with tuna and sweet corn and chocolate lumpy bumpy, lovely. It was lovely spending time chatting and catching up with Cathy’s news on the journeys.