My Mum stayed with us for 4 weeks she said she had really enjoyed it but thought it was time she went home. Her health had improved so much she was almost back to her old self, I just hoped it would last for a while.
She said when she got home she would discuss with my Dad about coming to live with us but thought maybe they would stay in Rotherham. I said this was fine but the offer was open-ended so if they changed their mind then it could resume.
Before Mike took her home that weekend I took her shopping and bought her a couple of dresses and odds and ends to say thank-you. Me and the children shed a few tears when she left.
A few weeks went by and I received a letter from the council offering us a four bedroomed house in Bennetts End Road I faced a dilemma now as my Mum and Dad had decided to stay put, I decided to ring Mrs Smith and explain the situation, I didn’t want to pretend that they were still coming. She said I should still take the house in case things changed with them and they maybe would need to come to us. The next day Mike and I went to look at the house it seemed fine, there were three double bedrooms and a single also there was a really good sized dining room but a small kitchen which I was disappointed with but the rest of the house was ok, in need of tlc but otherwise ok.
Unfortunately it meant the children would have to change schools but the lure of a bedroom each helped to persuade them. They were still at junior schools Lesley only had a few months to go and the twins a couple of years. The school was just across the road.
The moving day arrived as usual it was chaos, we hired a van and did it ourselves with the help of a couple of Mikes workmates. We were all shattered by the time the last bit of furniture was unloaded and then of course the beds had to be assembled and everything unpacked and a home found.
When we got sorted and Mike even did some decorating as amazing as it seems he didn’t need that much nagging. The kids started their new schools and seemed quite happy and soon made new friends especially Sheila and Steve. Lesley was her usual self staying in her room most of the time. She did make friends with a lovely girl called Cathy, they were soon best buddies. Cathy I believe had two brothers. She spent a lot of time at our house.
Time went by, life went on, we all liked our new home. My Mum was doing ok and Lesley went to secondary school , Mountbatten School Cathy went too. Lesley loved it and was really doing well at all the sciences especially biology.
Dennis had now come out of prison and had gone to live in Sheffield no change in the drug situation, if anything he was worse than before. Mike had told him that he wasn’t welcome at our house until he had given up drugs , I had agreed with this.
My Mum suddenly took a turn for the worst and was back in hospital. She had apparently had a build up of fluid in her abdomen and almost drowned. My poor Dad was so upset, because my Mum had been feeling so much better it had lulled us all into a sense of complacency.
I received a phone call from the hospital asking me to make an urgent appointment to see my Mums consultant. I rang immediately and arranged it for two days time and hoped that Mike would be able to take me. Lucky for me Mike was off for a long weekend so it was ok.
This visit would be easier as my Mum was in the hospital so after we had seen the Doctor we would pay her a surprise visit. I had told my Dad what was happening and he was going to visit my Mum and then act surprised when Mike and I turned up. The Doctor was so nice and said that he had some bad news for us. My Mum was not going to be with us very much longer the cancer had spread everywhere and was very aggressive, he said she would get much worse so they were going to keep her in hospital as it would be easier for my Mum and also my Dad.
This was such a shock, he said he thought maybe she would last at most a week. I was beside myself I could not imagine my life with out my Mum, how would my Dad cope with this, I was dreading telling him I knew it would destroy him. How would I tell my children they adored my Mum. I managed to thank the Doctor for speaking to me and not my Dad.
Mike and I went get a coffee and the tears just came, I knew I would have to be the strong one for my Dad, I really was worried about telling him and then having to leave him on his own. I just had to go home and arrange with work about time off and also try and arrange things for the children. Mike and I thought they would be ok on their own until Mike got home from work as he was on early shift. They would only have to get themselves off to school in the morning. Not an ideal situation but necessary. I had to be with my Mum and Dad at this horrendous time. I had no idea how I would cope I hoped I could be strong for my Dad. The children were now 10yrs and 13yrs respectively.
I phoned my boss at home and explained the situation and said I really had no idea how long I would be off but that I had no choice. He said take as long as it takes just take care of my Mum and Dad. He was a really understanding man, he could have made my life much more difficult.
I got things ready for the children ie clothes etc…. There was plenty of food in the freezer, Mike would have to cook. I packed a bag and got ready to set off in the morning, I would see the children off to school and then be on my way. It was May 1st 1975 a May I will never forget. I was dreading seeing my Dad as I didn’t know how he was coping.
I set off for Rotherham at about 8.30am usually I looked forward to seeing my Mum and Dad but this time I was really scared. This was a situation new to me.
I got to my Dads at about 11.00am and realised I had not told him I was coming today. My brain was just not working too well. I saw my Dad at the window and I could see the surprise on his face. He was at the gate by the time I had got out of my car and when he saw my case he broke down. He couldn’t believe I had been able to come and stay with him due to work and the children. I apologised for not telling him I was coming but that there had been so much to do. My only thought was to get here a.s.a.p.
We sat and had a cuppa and talked about my Mum, neither of us could believe we had got to this point, we always thought it wouldn’t happen that she would continue getting better but deep down we knew she couldn’t. We decided to go to the hospital , I had bought my Mum a really nice nightdress from the services on my way here.
We decided to drive to the hospital and hope we would be able to park ok. The parking situation was ok perhaps it being lunchtime helped. We were able to visit at any time due to my Mum being so ill.
I couldn’t believe it was my Mum in the bed, she had lost so much weight in such a short time. She looked so much like me at this time. She was now in a private room, that said it all. When my Mum saw us the tears just poured down her face I gave her a big hug and she held on to me for ages. She nearly broke my heart she said in a very weak voice that she knew she was dying. I said don’t be silly of course not but we all knew she was right. I really didn’t know if I was going to be able to cope, I loved my Mum so much and couldn’t imagine life without her. I also feared for my Dad, I hoped he would be able to manage.
My Dad and I stayed about 2 hours it was horrendous we both felt so helpless. The nurse came in and said she needed to give my Mum medication which would mean she would sleep for a couple of hours. We said we would go home and get something to eat and then I would come back my Dad was going to stay home for a rest.
The nurse asked me to go to the nurses station and my Mums doctor would like a word with us. I asked my Dad to go to the car and I would speak to the doctor. The doctor said he was really sorry but he thought my Mum maybe had two or three days left at the most. He said they were doing all they could to control the pain and at a later stage they may have to increase it, then the possibility was she would not be able to speak to us.
I thanked him for keeping me informed and he said if I wanted to stay at the hospital they had a room put aside for me . I tried to explain to him that my Dad would need extra care due to his health situation but I would try and arrange for him to be with someone and then I would take up the offer of the room. We left it like that.
I explained to my Dad what the doctor had said and he said he would be ok and that after having some food I should go back to the hospital and depending on how things were I would come home but stay the next night. I rang my Auntie Betty and explained the situation and she said the next evening she would come with me to the hospital and stay and my Uncle George would stay with my Dad at home.