mid December 2013
The words “hurts loving you” came to mind earlier this morning when I came in at the bottom driveway gate and saw her, seeing me, getting slowly to her feet – bit shivery, bit shaky, bit smelly – her fur dark in some places with wee – but there, up, standing, wagging her tail, ready to greet me.
Felt my face wince, registering that punched-in-the-chest feeling.
If I’d not appeared she would have continued lying down. But she still has this urge to greet you, to meet you, much more than halfway if she can.
Later as we worked in the garden, she plodded along interestedly, slipping helplessly on the mossy slasto but determinedly there. Wherever the people were, that’s where she was.
Being with her now reminds me a little of the times I’d be with another old lady, my mum, in her Home, when she didn’t really know what was going on. I’d visit her, and know that no other moment mattered but the one now. It might be forgotten as soon as it was over, but now, in this minute, her life would be better for my being there…. engaging her… checking small comforts… seeing to clothing, bringing new flowers, little gifts, singing songs together, chatting away…
Meg wouldn’t care for and doesn’t need clothing, flowers, pretty soaps or stories, but in these precious days, she does love to be touched and fussed over.
Granny, Joan Mary Hamilton, newly Silson, who in her 20s climbed up onto a car bonnet to be photographed, laughing and posing, tall and slender, would also enjoy in her last years being touched, with a gentle footrub, or a hand massage.
Both old ladies need, needed, companionship, something tasty to eat and drink, fluffed up bedding, warmth and good cheer.
This morning Megsy had inflamed pink skin from the irritation of the urine, and we have washed her tenderly. Will dry her nicely, with a towel and hairdryer, and settle her in the sunshine with a marrowbone. But it’ll all be wet again very quickly.