Families should stick together - I’ve always believed that.
Look after your own. When father passed over to wherever that is, we took mother in after a bowel operation left her rather incommoded. We didn’t expect her to last long.
How little we knew how tough these old Lancashire cotton mill girls could be.
She wouldn’t give up. Not on your Nelly! For fifteen more years she sat watching her telly, until she was 109 and had a stack of identical Xmas cards from the Queen and made it into the top ten oldest women in Britain.
Of course there were benefits for us too. We get a free TV license because she’s over 75. I say ‘get’ in the present tense because… well why does anyone have to know she’s passed over? Having her embalmed in her favorite wheelchair and carrying on as normal seemed such a great idea. The very thought of paying £145 for a TV licence brings on a huge RA flare. And I certainly wasn’t going to scatter her ashes with father’s on top of Ben Nevis. Not with my RA. That reminds me, his ashes are still in the urn in her wardrobe and some of our roses need a bit of phosphate.
Mother still seems to enjoy watching Corrie and Emmerdale but of course doesn’t answer the questions on the quiz shows like she used to. She loves Ann Robinson and I’m sure I still hear that insane cackle of hers - Mothers I mean, not Ann Robinsons although I expect she can cackle with the best of them, especially the ones on the broomsticks, which she'd probably resemble if she hadn't had so many facelifts.
We still take her shopping,- mother that is, not Ann Robinson to meet her friends and move her head backwards and forwards manually so they think she’s nodding at them. They all comment on how well she looks and say such nice things. I’m sure mother can hear them. Our electricity bill has gone down hugely too as we have to keep her reasonably cool to stop any gases building up. Wouldn’t want her exploding - we’d never hear the end of it. Our food bill is also less now she doesn’t indulge in all those cream cakes, pastries and chocolate she knew would be the death of her. And it’s so nice to have a proper staircase again instead of that funicular railway that groaned it’s way up and down at snail speed every day. I could never understand why they couldn’t make them quicker. I suppose it’s so they don’t fly off at the top and land in a heap on the landing or even better, in the bath.
All in all, we like to think she’s still having a damn good life or rather death and wonder why more people don’t preserve their loved ones in this way.