When I got home the next night (Tuesday) there wasn’t anyone in. I guessed where they were and walked round, sure enough there they were talking over the fence to the next door neighbours. My Dad had done loads of painting and general DIY. I could see my Mum had been washing out cupboards and worktops. It fair gleamed. The kids were nowhere to be seen. Evidently Kim had come over and they had gone to play in the woods.
My Mum really wasn’t very well but she wouldn’t stop doing things in spite of my Dad and myself telling her to leave things. She was waiting for a date to go in hospital to have a hysterectomy, hopefully after having that done she would feel better.
Saturday came and everyone from work who offered to help us move arrived. Things soon started moving they were not hanging about. We got my Mum and Dad to stay at the new house to supervise. Steve seemed to like Mr Whitlock he was helping with the garden tools, lawnmower etc. Mr Whitlock promised to just move the small things as he was getting on a bit. Although he made a big point of saying he had been for a check up yesterday and got a clean bill of health. I said I didn’t care he promised. He was such a nice man, he had to do his bit.
At last all the big stuff had been moved, they really were a nice bunch of people to have as workmates. All that was left for me to do now was tidy the old house. Lesley came running into the old house saying her Nan said I must go to the new house straight away as Mr Whitlock had been taken ill. I dropped everything and ran round there to find the funeral directors just coming out with a coffin. I had to wait until they had gone then my mum said Mr Whitlock had just brought his last load with Steve and went in the house and said to my mum he didn’t feel well. My Dad had just put up my bed albeit not made and Mr Whitlock laid down .
About 10 minutes later my Dad went to see how he was and found him dead. A doctor was called straight away and he came and pronounced him dead from a suspected heart attack. I could not believe it , I felt responsible even though I tried to dissuade him from helping.
His daughter lived in Gadebridge I didn’t know where but I had her phone number . I asked the Doctor if he would ring her and explain because I was too distraught. I didn’t want to live their now. I couldn’t even bring myself to go in . I most certainly would not be able to sleep in that bed or bedroom . Lyndsay, Mr Whitlock’s daughter arrived and she was apologising I said that wasn’t right it was my fault I shouldn’t have let him help. She said he was thrilled to bits to be helping me and if I had refused his help he would have been devastated. She said she felt a little jealous as he was always talking about us, he admired the way I coped with whatever was thrown at me. She also said it was a good job he got to the house as he had Steve in the car with him.
She said she insisted she buy me a new bed, as if this had happened to her she wouldn’t have been able to sleep in it even though it was her Dad. I said I had thought about it. I said it wasn’t necessary for her to buy one but she insisted.
I couldn’t go in that bedroom so my mum decided that Lesley and Sheila would sleep in that room and I would have the smaller back room. I said ok but couldn’t go to bed I stayed up sorting things out. My Mum and Dad slept in my old bed.
What a good start , I had been so excited about our new home, now the furniture was going in and a body coming out. If I could have moved back to my old house I would have been happy.
Lindsay was true to her word a top of the range double bed was delivered the next day. I had never had such an amazing bed. She also sent me a really nice letter saying that I shouldn’t blame myself for what happened to her father as she new he had been so pleased that I had let him help us. He had told her that not many young people would befriend an old man and I had. He said he thought I was doing an amazing job with everything and that my children were a credit to me, so well mannered and a pleasure to be with. He also said I was a good cook, that was because I had invited him to a Sunday dinner with me and the kids a few weeks ago.
I went to Mr Whitlocks funeral it was the first one I had been to. It was a very sad occasion. His daughter introduced me to the rest of the family and said I had been a real friend to him. I had to somehow get the memory of seeing that bodybag coming out of my house out of my mind. I consciously made an effort to settle in the house.
My Mum and Dad had gone home they had done an amazing job, I do not know what I would have done without them. They were the best Mum and Dad you could have. They meant everything to me especially my Dad.
I did manage to get that memory out of my head and me and the kids settled in. When my Mum got home there was a letter from Weston Park Hospital with a date for her hysterectomy which was only four days away. The letter must have arrived as they left to help me. My Mum said it was better this way as she had no time to worry about the operation.
I sent her a really nice nightie and a dressing gown, my way of saying thankyou for helping me and also it is nice to have new things to go to the hospital with. They were on such a tight budget that there was nothing left for extras, so I would send her a new dress or something every now and again. I had bought my Dad a small greenhouse as he loved gardening and growing his moneymaker tomatoes.
Things were going really well , the children were coping with being on their own for an hour and a half between school and me getting home from work. Lesley was 9 yrs old going on 19yrs she was so grown up and really kept the twins in check. They knew they had to do as she said.
My Mum had her operation and from what my Dad said all went well. I had got a weeks holiday from work so was able to ring my Dad quite often.