As someone who normally sleeps so well, being awake for hours in the night is such a curious feeling. Outside I can see no lights on in the apartment buildings down here by the water. People curled up, lying alone or with a partner, snoring or not, dreaming or not, and maybe just a few like me awake.
It’s a still quiet time. No seagulls to be heard. No wind so no clanging of the bits at the top of the boat masts. If I were a boating person I’d know the name but I’m not so I don’t. Not Saturday night so no drunken farewells at this street corner. All quiet.
Thoughts whirring. It’s been such a full on few weeks with Dad being ill and yesterday another hospital admission after 8 hours of tests and waiting. I hated to leave him there but know he’s in good hands.
The last few weeks have had worry and stress and lots of moments of love and tenderness. I am so blessed to have him in my life and have treasured this time we have had even though no-one would have wanted things to be how they have been. Happy and healthy and getting on with life is how things were just before Christmas- finding a way of living after the death of my mum, his wife of 60 years, earlier in the year. He was really getting into his stride again. This health crisis feels so unexpected.
It’s times like these that help us really feel what’s important and who’s there for us, who steps forward for us and who doesn’t. Family not always being how you think they will be. And just needing to keep letting go of feelings that come with that to keep focussed on what really matters.
Being there for Dad is what matters – being there for him just as he has been for us all over so many years and in so many ways. For me it’s so simple. For my lovely sister Sally too.
And so here I lie awake, imagining he may well be too in his hospital ward of 6 with beeping machines and lights and the sounds of others and I send love to him. Soon enough it will be time to be up and about and visiting to find out how things are. More tests, more questions that sound similar to the ones the previous person has just asked. But through all the waiting and the repetition of information giving, the care and attention of staff has shone through – care assistants, nurses and consultants. All being how you’d want them to be with someone you love. I’m so grateful for that. So soon enough that will all start up again for me.
For now it’s lying on a too soft mattress in my father’s flat by the water listening to the quiet and thinking there’s nowhere I’d rather be.