2019 has been one of the best years of my life, though not of course without its difficulties.
Most recently, however, a minor miracle took place.
My mother in law is in a care home. At the beginning of the year she was very poorly, living alone in her little flat in Warsaw, never going out, totally reliant on two women who alternately looked after her everyday needs. She was alert and we thought relatively content. But when we went to visit her last Christmas it turned out that she had almost stopped eating and really did not want to do anything at all. From being a vibrant, quite assertive woman, she had lost a lot of confidence and the will to do anything. She hadn’t been outside for several years but somehow she had coped. She enjoyed using her mobile phone – she texted and SMSed. And also her computer. She did all her own banking and payment on line. Not bad for 89. Yet last Christmas was sad. But- she was still determined to stay at home. And we thought she might be ok if we upped the care a little. But …
She had a fall in the middle of the night while we were there. She managed to call someone who called us in our hotel. We didn’t have a key to the flat. So we called the key holder who is also bed bound and couldn’t give it to us. A nightmare. By the time we got to her though she was sort of all right. Refused to get herself checked out. But she didn’t seem to be concussed. She was eating well because Jacek had been cooking for her all the things she liked. We were optimistic. We came back to London relatively happy. Yet a week or so later she had another fall. This time we decided that the type of care she needed was different. And he went to Poland to sort it out. It was not an easy task. She utterly refused to have someone live with her. So now she is in this quite luxurious care home. All well and good. They look after her well. But she could not be persuaded to go out or even leave her room. This year we arrived for Christmas Eve not knowing what to expect. Jacek’s cousin had said he would take her to his house for Wigilia. I didn’t hold out much hope though she had rung us at five in the morning to tell us she would do it. Seeing is believing I thought and expected her to change her mind. And here is the miracle. Tomek, the cousin came. She allowed herself to be wheeled into the car and driven to their home in the country. I thought she would demand to be taken home in an hour. She managed three. After four years of not leaving her flat or her room she began to enjoy herself. It was a very heartwarming sight and it made my Christmas, despite not being able to be with all my own family, really worthwhile. This was going to be a post about the year not just one evening. Ah well.