Friday 11 May.
Tom and Martha – Chesterfield Canal.
Leigh – Redditch to Birmingham to Sheffield to Worksop to the boat!
Leigh arrived home today! Her threetrainsandataxi brought her back to the boat around three-o-clock this afternoon.
Tom and I were happy to see her; not just because we wanted our chieflocklabourer back, not just because we wanted our Chief Cook and Steward back either. Our tails (well, mine) wagged like crazy.
Tom and I did enjoy a super day yesterday. Tom spent a few hours fishing, while I snoozed in the sun. Tom was pretty satisfied when he caught a rather large fish, although for the next couple of hours he didn’t manage to catch anything else. Yelp!
I tend not to write when Leigh is away – she helps me with me spelling and stuff – so I’ll bring you up to speed on what has been happening…
Leigh spent Tuesday evening travelling back to her sister’s home in Redditch. Although she didn’t arrive till around ten-thirty she had an hour or so to spend with Pam, chatting about Pam’s upcoming operation and other things. Of course, she didn’t manage to take Pam’s mind off the operation – but Leigh just wanted to be there for her.
Leigh, Pam and Tom (Pam’s husband is called ‘Tom’ as well) were all upandabout by around five-thirty on Wednesday morning. Tom drove Pam to hospital while Leigh went to spend the day with her Mum, whose birthday it was.
Leigh was worried about her Mum; imagine having your 88th birthday on the very day your daughter is having a four-and-a-half hour operation to have a cancer, and section of a lung, removed? To lighten the day, she bought her Mum some cupcakes…aptly named, ‘Dragon Cakes’, as her son-in-laws cheekily call Iris, ‘The Dragon’.
Pam eventually went down to theatre around quarter-to-two in the afternoon. Leigh knew how scared Pam was; she had tried her best to be superpositive over the last few weeks, yet there was no way she could show Pam that she was scared too, so when Tom eventually rang to say Pam had (at last) gone down, Leigh burst into tears…which started her Mum off too. Humans!
According to a member of the nursing crew, the operation went well. What fantastic news this was to all?
Leigh described Wednesday as an emotional rollercoastersortofday. She and her Mum were either eating cake, and doing their best to celebrate Mum’s birthday, or worrying about Pam. That’s life I guess. You can’t plan it – you just have to go with it whilst doing your best to cope with whatever is thrown at you. It was a curve ball that started off our adventures – Leigh’s totally unexpected redundancy. Leigh caused chaos when she tried to hide the cakes as she lit the candles. Her mum’s home helper was in the bedroom, Leigh dashed in and hid down at the side of the bed, making Val jump. Then Mum came in to the bedroom so Val had to usher her out fast. Eventually, Leigh lit the candles and Val – in fact two Val’s, as Mum’s friend Val had arrived too – and Leigh all sang to Mum!
Leigh’s aunties Gill and Hazel, her mum’s cousin, Margaret, and friend, Pam, all popped in to see Iris with cards and gifts. After work and school Vince, Gemma and three of Leigh’s grandchildren/Iris’s greatgrandchildren called in too.
In the evening, the dynamic duo met up with Cleo (my human sister) for dinner and drinks. It was a surprise for the birthday girl – all part of Leigh’s strategy to keep her Mum occupied for the day.
On Tom’s return from a verylongday at hospital, he and Leigh shared a glass of wine, a good chat and their relief at Pam being onestepcloser to recovery from her cancer.
Tom (my Tom) and I spent the evening chilling out once we knew that Pam was doing OK. He had a glass or three of wine, but did he share any with moi? I’ll let you make your own mind up…
Yesterday (Thursday) was another warm day. Tom fished, I relaxed. Leigh visited Pam in the morning then did some jobs for her Mum. She also popped in to visit Vince, Gemma and the children, then ate pizza with her good friend, Josie, whilst the two of them caught up on ‘life’.
Tom arrived home from the hospital around nine-o-clock, Leigh arrived just after him, so, again, they drank wine and chatted. Poor Tom was exhausted so went to bed around ten-o-clock, leaving Leigh sorting through some paperwork for her Mum. No wonder Tom was so tired; since Pam’s diagnosis – around seven weeks ago – Tom and Pam have been emotionally exhausted.
Now, although I am a mere canine (being humble here for a change) I realise how important the NHS is to humans, the hospital that Pam had her operation in (Heartlands) seemed very efficient and superclean with, ‘Very nice, friendly and caring staff’, according to Leigh. Long live the NHS…the staff doing a barking good job!
Woofs, Martha xx