Not every day in life is easy, and some are harder than others.
“Aw, it’s so good, so good, thanks for coming.”
The big man puffed out his cheeks, there was a lump in his throat and a tear in his eye. He gulped down several mouthfuls of air and puffed out his cheeks again.
“I’m sorry about this, sorry about this. You having to ….having to…”, he stuttered, struggled to find his words. “Shut up, Mac, shut up,” he told himself. “Hey, it’s so good, so good.”
He turned to his wife who was sitting dutifully by his side. She was wiping his pyjama jacket, dabbing at the spill down the front. “Tell him it’s good Mau, tell him it’s good. Oh how wonderful to see you. Ee, do you remember eh? That time when, you know that time…” His voice trailed off again. “I can’t find me words, can’t get them out. Wait….oh shut up, Mac, shut up.”
He collapsed back onto the pillow, but there was a big smile on his face and there was laughter in his eyes. “Your Dad, your Dad…best friend a man could ever have your Dad. Happy days, him and me, happy days.”
You could see the frustration as he tried to tell you, tried to recount the numerous stories, the little anecdotes that he had told and you had heard so many times before. “He was a grand chap, your dad, grand chap. Now you’re here. Aw, it’s so good, so good. Shut up, Mac, shut up”, he told himself again.
He was here in hospital following a stroke. Just a mild one and he was getting over it, but the stroke had left its mark. The tightly clenched right hand, the paralysis in his right side and his speech. The words were there, only they would not come out in the order he wanted them too. “Remember her, remember….” Silence, the name would not form on his lips. “You know, her, her…..all hoity, toity, a bit ladida. Mau, tell him, tell him her name, you know, you remember. Shut up, Mac. Shut up.”
He would never see his house again. Never set foot inside the rooms that had been his home for the last 30 years. All those memories, the personal possessions, the photographs, the books, his favourite chair, the garden. They would just be memories now, something he had done yesterday. One minute you are in your house surrounded by all you hold most dear, the next you are in hospital, never to return. It would be the care home soon. That would be his new world, his new existence from now on.
Memories danced in front of his eyes and he laughed as he saw them pass. “It’s so good, so good…shut up, Mac, shut up!”
Please, Mac, don’t shut up. Not yet. Don’t be silent just yet.