So, it’s November…not my favourite month if I’m honest. I know you shouldn’t write off a whole month, but if I could go to sleep on November 1st and Wake up on December 1st invigorated and ready to start Christmas preparations that would be marvellous. But as soon as fireworks start appearing the nagging blackness starts to creep up and touch me on the shoulder, trying to get me to crumble into a foetus like position and suck my thumb.
I have my reasons. 3 major events in my life happened in November – and they weren’t good ones.
10 years ago we lost the hub of our family, my Nan. We celebrate her life by having a family weekend for her birthday, so we have turned this negative around. I wrote about it here
But then, 3 years later, but the same week, quite out of the blue, my Mum had a stroke. I got the phone call from my sister saying that she was comfortable, and there wasn’t anything I could do, so I should probably stay at home. I got the train the next day as I just couldn’t not go. She was just about lucid when I got there and when I held her hand and told her I was there she said my name. I’m pretty sure she was waiting for me, at least that’s the way I remember it and that gives me comfort. When we got the call at 3 the next morning, we knew. My sister G and I drove to the Hospital without saying much, and when we got to there, they told us only the machines were keeping her alive. Although I’m the eldest, my Sister lived the closest and was named as next of kin, so officially she had to say the machines could be turned off. It was very peaceful. I had to ring my brother in Manchester, and he was devastated that he had not been able to say goodbye properly. My other 2 sisters had arrived by this time and when it was all done and they had sorted her out we all stood by her bed silently sobbing.
I was allocated to sort the Funeral service out and we had poetry and music that she would have loved and her Grandchildren did the readings. When I did the Eulogy we laughed and cried. When we had Somewhere from West Side Story played, the family couldn’t help but join in and sing it. Her friends said it was the most personal and lovely service they’d ever been to, so I think we did her proud. Afterwards we had fireworks in my Sister’s garden – they were going off everywhere else and we all had some, so it seemed like the right thing to do.
I was just about getting used to the fact that she was gone when a year later my Husband left for work in mid November and 20 minutes later called me from the station to say he wasn’t feeling well and he was going to get the station staff to call for an Ambulance. As I ran out of the door I shouted to my kids to just get ready for school and I’d let them know what was happening. A neighbour from a few doors down – who’s husband was also at the station and had seen my Husband collapse – came running out of her door telling me to get in her car. Her husband had rang her to tell her. By the time we got to the station there was an Ambulance already there. My Husband was having a heart attack. The Paramedics decided to take him up to the specialist Heart Unit, so my neighbour said she’d let the children know I was going with him and to go to school, and I went in the Ambulance. The next hour or so were somewhat of a blur, but he was into theatre as soon as we got there and out within half an hour having had the procedure. The Paramedics were great and took me back home as they had to pick up the motorbike the original one had left at the station. I don’t think it really hit me until I got home what had happened. It was the longest and quickest 2 hours of my life. He was in Hospital for 4 days then at home for 3 months.
So…am I allowed not to like November?