I bought my Mum a couple of nice nighties, as when you are in hospital you like new things and I thought it might cheer her up. Tony took me straight to the hospital. My Mum was surprised to see me, my Dad hadn’t told her I was coming.
She said she was feeling much better now that she had finished the course of radiotherapy. She also said the Doctor had said she could go home next week providing everything was ok when she had her stitches removed. That was scheduled for Monday, so all being well she could be home on Wednesday. That would please my Dad as he was finding it a bit much all the travelling to the hospital.
I stayed about an hour and said I would be back for the morning visiting. Tony took me to my Dads and then went home. He offered to take me to the hospital in the morning but I said I would find my own way as he had already done too much. My Dad was really pleased about my Mum coming home but was worried that she would realise something was wrong because she was expecting to feel so much better whereas in reality she would be getting worse. It was going to be very difficult. It was going to be hard work for my Dad too. That house they had was lovely but too big for them now.
I said I would help my Dad with getting the house spotless before my Mum came home or she would not be very happy. There was nothing wrong with the house just needed a bit of polish here and there. I cooked a meal for me and my Dad and we sat and talked for ages. My Dad was worried about money as they only had unemployment benefit which only just covered the bills and frugal food. My Mum had been told she needed loads of fresh fruit and vegetables and also low fat food which was all more expensive than ordinary. My Dad wanted to do the best by my Mum and it was going to be difficult. I would help where I could but I only just managed , being a single working Mum.
I decided when I got home to do some research and find out if there was any help out there, I thought there might be a charity or something. I had heard of the Marie Curie Foundation but didn’t really know what they did. I would make that my first job when I got home.
My Dad and I both went to visit my Mum the next day and she was much perkier, I think that was because she would soon be home. She was so much better she was giving my dad orders. Me and my Dad looked at each other and burst out laughing she was certainly on the mend . My Mum was puzzled as to why we were laughing we explained that the ‘nagging’ had already started and she couldn’t help laughing either.
We stayed for the visiting hour and then went home. I said I would be back that evening as it would be my last visit for a while as I was going home the next day and it would do my Dad good to have a rest. He was really looking tired and drawn and what worried me was I could see it getting worse with the progression of the cancer.
I had to do something but I had no idea what at this time. Although I had enjoyed being with my Mum and Dad I really missed the children and worried about them after all Linda was only a kid herself but I trusted her. Needs must I had no other choice. If my husband had been a proper Dad he would have had them but when I told him about my going to Yorkshire and leaving the kids with Linda he never said a thing.
The children were fine when I got home , the house was tidy and they all said they had a great time. Linda went home she was by now very pregnant and not well at all. The next thing I heard from her was that she had had the baby a boy and was staying with her Mum. She said Dennis, although still in prison was going to sign the flat over to her as she said she would never live with him again. ( He had got sentenced to two years ) I cant say I blame her as the drugs meant more to him than anything or anyone. In the short time they had lived together he had sold most of the baby things that had been bought and according to Linda he had withheld her antibiotic from her and she nearly lost the baby. So all in all they were best apart.
Mike rang and asked how my Mum was. He said he was coming to see the kids that weekend if it was ok with me. I said yes it was fine. He didn’t come as evidently he had got drunk and June his sister had locked him out as she was fed up with his drinking, also it was a shop and she couldn’t keep leaving it unlocked for him to come home drunk and forget to lock the door after him. On this night she had waited up for him until 2am and then went to bed and locked the shop up, thinking he would knock on the door when he did get home. But no what he did in his drunken stupor was attempt to climb up the drainpipe to the first floor but he fell and landed on the dustbins in the backyard. The cleaner found him the next morning around 7a.m she thought he was dead but he was fast asleep. She called June and she could see he was really badly hurt and called an ambulance. It turned out he had broken both legs and had numerous cuts and bruises. He was actually very lucky to fall on the bins otherwise it would have been a concrete yard. He also had concussion.
He was in hospital for about 3 weeks and in that time June had told him he couldn’t go back to her house, she had had enough. The only place left was his Mums and she really didn’t want him there but he had to have somewhere to go when he was discharged from hospital. She only had a one bedroomed flat and she would have to wait on him hand and foot as he was immobile.(pardon the pun).
Time passed and Mike’s mum was tearing her hair out with his frustration at being confined he took it out on her. One more week and he would be having the plaster removed from his legs and his Mum said he would have to get a flat as she couldn’t cope any more.
Even he must have had enough as she said he was ringing all the flats to let in the paper. He found one in Notting Hill Gate that was before it became for the rich and famous. He went to look at the flat when his plasters were off and took it. Evidently it was only a bedsit. His Mum told me she jumped for joy having got rid of him. He was also able to go back to work on the buses.
He had never lived on his own so this was going to be a challenge for him. He rang and said he would be over to see the kids the next weekend . He came and the visit went quite well. The kids did talk to him and him to them. He did seem to have changed somewhat but maybe it was a ploy to get back in our good books….time will tell. He liked the new house.
Mike phoned us sometimes twice a week for a chat . He did seem a changed man. I began to form an idea in my head to be able to help my Mum and Dad more, I thought that if I had Mike back with certain proviso’s I would be able to send more money to help my Mum have a better life for the time she had left.
I would insist he put his money in to the household not a one sided thing,. me paying everything . I would lay my cards on the table and be straight with him that I was only having him back if he would agree to my terms which were as follows; No violence, at the first sign he would be out , paying his way , supporting his family as he should do, try to be a better father also to be prepared to help me help. my Mum and Dad. If he would agree to this then maybe we could try again. This time the house was in my name so I would call the shots. I wasn’t the timid person who had been worn down by him. I knew I was doing the wrong thing but my Mum needed help.
The next time he rang he actually asked if he could come back to us, he missed family life he said, huh!. I told him that I had been thinking about this also but that it was a means to an end and I spelled out my conditions. I couldn’t believe my ears he said he intended things to be better this time and wholeheartedly agreed with everything I said and that we could have a three month trial. It sounds like a new job.
He had to finish the lease on the flat he had which had another month to run so after that he would move back in with us. He would still work at the Edgware Bus Garage he would have to commute. The kids were surprisingly happy about it if a little apprehensive, I assured them that it was going to be different this time.
When I told my Dad he said I was out of my mind, I tried to explain that I would be able to help them more but he said I must not compromise myself to help them. He said me and the kids happiness was much more important. He said they would manage and I must think again. I had made my mind up their welfare was more important than my well being and I was going to make my Mums last days happy and worry free if it killed me.
We should be well off with two of us working hopefully. The month soon passed and Mike moved back in with us and things seemed fine. He was good with the kids and he had also arranged a standing order from his bank account to mine for most of his wages he just kept a few pounds back for his expenses. I was shocked when he asked for my bank details to arrange it.
I would be in charge of the outgoings ie rent etc.. this time , he said he would prefer it this way as he was hopeless with money as we found out previously. I also set up a standing order for money to be sent to my Mum and Dads bank account.
The other thing I found out about was the Marie Curie Foundation they helped cancer sufferers out with a little extra money to help them buy fruit etc that could help their illness. It was someone at work who told me about it.
I wrote a long letter explaining their circumstances. Also that if they could help could they please come through me as my Mum didn’t know about the cancer. I received a reply about a week later . They said they would very much like to help and would need some more details as they had to check that what I had told them was true. I gave them all they needed ie Doctors name etc. at Weston Park Hospital and their GP I fully understood their need for caution as anyone could say they needed help.