A couple of weeks later I got a letter from them saying everything had been checked and a weekly allowance would be sent to my Mum and Dad under the guise of benefits , with no mention of Marie Curie. They were amazing people. I told my Dad and he said it would help a lot.
He rang me a week later saying they had received an extra £5 per week which he assumed was from the cancer fund and that with the £10 a week I was sending made them so much better off. I also bought my Mum a couple of dresses and some nighties, as even though she wasn’t well enough to go out she still liked to dress well. With the extra money my Dad had arranged for a mobile hairdresser to come once a fortnight to set her hair, she was over the moon.
Mike was doing really well, he was true to his word and was putting the money in my account he was also much more patient with the kids, I was apprehensive as I didn’t think leopards changed their spots and I was waiting for the temper and the money not appearing in my account….ever the pessimist, life had taught me to expect the worst.
Time passed and everything seemed to be going well. My Mum had improved slightly still not able to go out shopping just able to potter about the house. My Dad had heard about some o.a.p. bungalows that had just been built just down the road and thought this would be much better for them, as my mum was now having difficulty going up the stairs to the toilet and bedrooms, in fact my cousin Tony was going to help my Dad take a bed downstairs.
My Dad got in touch with the council housing dept. about the bungalows but was told because they were 60 and 56yrs respectively they were too young, they had to be, for my Mum 60yrs. He tried to explain the health situation but to no avail. He later found out that a couple of people who had been given the bungalows were actually really well off and had sold large houses. Bearing in mind they were council you would think preference would be on a health basis. My Dad was livid as he was really struggling with my Mum.
He went to what they call a surgery to speak to the local MP. He explained the situation and was told by the MP that he would make enquiries and be in touch within the next 10 days.
Three weeks passed and nothing was heard from the MP so back my dad went and was told the same as before they were both too young. My Dad was banging his head against the brick wall they wouldn’t budge. I thought maybe my Dad didn’t really push very hard as he is a very proud man and wouldn’t beg. So I decided to write a letter to the then Prime minister I knew it wouldn’t get to him but maybe someone might understand the situation and make an exception.
I really went to town I said my Dad was an epileptic my Mother was dying from inoperable ovarian cancer, my dad really needed someone to look after him as my Mum had done for 24 yrs suddenly the roles had been reversed. They also at the moment lived in a big house that was too much for my Dad to keep clean and also my Mum had a bed downstairs with no access to the bathroom and toilet as she couldn’t manage the stairs. She was virtually bedridden. She was receiving help from the M arie Curie Foundation , this wasn’t given lightly you had to be really ill to receive it.
I wrote about 4 foolscap pages with the facts and what I thought they ought to do for my Mum and Dad. We had no idea how long my Mum would be with us therefore it seemed imperative to me to make what ever time she had as comfortable as possible and one of these bungalows seemed ideal. I explained about the other people selling their houses and being given a bungalow when they were in a position to purchase one not take council properties that surely should be made available for the really needy people. I sent this off with out telling anyone but I didn’t hold out hope too much, red tape and jobsworth to change the rules even with mitigating circumstances. At least I felt better for venting my anger.
Time passed I forgot about the letter. Then my Dad phoned so excited I couldn’t understand what he was on about. I finally got him to calm down and he said he had received a letter from the Houses of Parliament with the crest and everything apologising for the distress he and my Mum had suffered due to inflexibility. It said that I had written and made a case he couldn’t ignore and that a letter should arrive in the next couple of days offering them one of the bungalows. I couldn’t believe it. Me and my Dad were screeching down the phone with excitement. He said I was the best daughter anyone could have.
Now we would have to wait for the letter from the council. Not to long, my Dad rang again the next day saying he had received the letter and they were even going to move them at the councils expense as instructed by the MP. They said that the removal men would pack everything and they wouldn’t have to do a thing just get themselves to the bungalow.
I said I would drive down on Friday night, it was now Wednesday and take them to see the bungalow. I would have to arrange something for the children if I couldn’t I would take them with me. Luckily Mike said he had the weekend off ,so no problem. The children were not to keen to be with him but needs must.
I finished work at 5pm Friday evening went home got changed packed a few things and set off for Rotherham. I got to their house about10pm and we jumped around the room me and my Dad and my Mums face was beaming she was so pleased. We arranged to take my Mum to see it the next morning my Dad had already been and looked. He had also managed to get the keys.
We managed to get my Mum in the car with a struggle , She really was in a bad way but she was really excited. The bungalow was beautiful it was really big with a large kitchen/diner and a really goodsize front room and two double bedrooms, my Mum had tears in her eyes. She said she would have to get carpet for the front room and the bedrooms . I asked her if she felt up to going now as my Dad had already measured it and if we didn’t go today it would have to wait until I could get there when they moved. She said she would like to go now and then it could hopefully be down by the time of moving.
We went to a shop in Thurcroft and my Mum found a really nice carpet for the front room and some for each bedroom she decided she would wait to get the hall and bathroom as this could be done at a later date.
My Mum was exhausted but happy as we had achieved a lot today. The carpet was being delivered and fitted. on the following Monday. As soon as that was done a moving date would be arranged. I must admit the council were really being very flexible and understanding.
Me and my Dad did quite a lot of packing of glasses and china with my Mum, of course supervising from her bed. She did keep complaining that after all that time since her operation she should be feeling a lot better now but said she seemed to be getting worse, I wished that we could tell her the reason but I agreed with my Dad that she would give in, so at all costs we had to shield her…..it was very hard to see her suffering , we had no idea how long she would be with us
It soon came round to Sunday time for me to go home as I had to go to work Monday morning. I was working at B.S.I. then and they were being unbelievably understanding. I cooked Sunday dinner for us before I left. This part I hated because I didn’t know if I would see my Mum alive again. I would have loved to stay and see them in the bungalow but it just wasn’t possible.
It was an uneventful journey home approx. 132miles but I was getting used to it as I was going most weekends. I felt sorry for my kids but I didn’t think I had a choice. I tooted when I got home and out they came running I think they were pleased to see me as I was them. They said Dad had been ok with them and that they understood about there Nan. They loved her very much and were doing well coping. I had taken a lot of time explaining to them about there Nan`s illness.
The twins were 7 yrs old and Lesley 10yrs., it was a lot to take in but I thought it better to tell them, then when the time came they would be sort of prepared. Thank goodness they had had their baths and I just had to iron their school clothes for the morning. The house was surprisingly tidy , they said their Dad had each given them jobs to do and of course if he said it, it would be done, if I asked it wouldn’t but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Life went on as normal ,the kids at school , me at work. Mike was on late shift this week so me and the kids had the evenings to ourselves. Although Mike was being quite reasonable and keeping his temper in check, we had to think before we spoke, it was a bit like walking on eggs.
My boss called me into his office when I got to work and said if I ever needed to just down tools and go to see my Mum for whatever, reason it was ok by him, as if it was his parent he would expect that to happen. I told him it was very tiring going there Friday night and coming home Sunday evening but that my Dad needed a break. He then said that when they were due to move I could have a weeks compassionate leave to get them sorted. This was too much and the tears just rolled down my face. I thanked him and left his office I couldn’t speak, his kindness and understanding just overwhelmed me.