The Grannie I wanted to be and other stories

 I put the Charley Mackay quote on my email sign off this week. Several people commented how welcome it was. I know it started with Blue Monday and how we all speak about mental health most days at the moment, but it does seem especially blue of late. I realise that inspite of a commitment to honesty in my blog, I prefer not to share the flat times, the days that have blurred edges into each other. Anyway, what would I say? We’ve been in lockdown since New Year and there is very little light and shade to the days. 

The bright days are when our daughter visits ( we’re in a bubble together.....Thank God! ) Also we are now able to look after our toddler Grandson, Davie. Between us we are able to have great fun with him. His weekly visits have also lifted us from the banality of lockdown and the grey mid-winter. He’s helped us share laughter, hugs, music and then the little tales we tell each other of what he said and did, that keep the week alive till he arrives again. He and his Aunty are keeping us engaged in life. His Mum and Dad aren’t allowed in the house or near us at all. We miss them as so many of you miss your families too.

His Dad drops him off on the doorstep, rings the doorbell and steps back several metres. He’s like an Uber eats parcel ready to make our day! Cara the dog cries with excitement to see them both, then she scampers as soon as he looks a bit unpredictable. So that doesn’t take long. Koshka the cat is less predictable. His name is Russian for cat and Davie is able to pronounce it, impressive for a two year old! And if you speak to Koshka he assumes that ultimately this leads to food, so a beautiful friendship is emerging. 

I’m constantly trying my best to be able to interact as much as I can. I’ve always been disabled to him. But the Grannie I wanted to be wasn’t disabled. She would have been able to join him on the floor with his toys. She would have pushed the pram around the neighbourhood and chatted to neighbours about how well he was doing. She would have climbed hills with him and told the stories of previous walks in Scotland. She would have bobbed around the kitchen, making soup, cakes, scones and chatting as he had lunch. She would have taken him for weekends to give his parents a break. But others, including his wonderful Grandad, will do that with him. I’m the entertainment with the wheelchair, scooter and my walker. All are source of great entertainment to Davie.

So this month it’s the small things that I’m writing of. But as we know from the experience, the life lesson that is lockdown, the small things are the big things.They are family, they are those we love, they are having a job/pension  that provides a warm home and food on the table, a dogs head on your lap, a cat purring  at your side. And at this time it’s also about a National Health Service and a dedicated care service too.

This blog is dedicated to those who serve us in these terrible times of premature death and illness and to a staff team who have worked so incredibly hard and still do and have seen more death than any of them ever wanted to. They are in my heart and honestly in my dreams too-or are they nightmares-with me trying to help, then realising I’m unable to walk other than a few steps in pain. It’s a jumble of being upset I can’t help and being scared stiff if I could help. Perhaps they know all that complex mixture? 

Stay safe and stay at home please, we owe that to those overwhelmed teams and to ourselves and those who love us. 


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