Sunday, October 12, 2014

We're going to be taken out of our house feet first

That's what my Dad said to me a few years ago, when I told him that he needed to move out of his house. He hadn't been able to afford its upkeep for years.  Almost a decade.  But he refused to admit it. He said that no matter what logic said, he and Mum would be "carried feet first out of the house".

Well, he was right.  They both were.

Dad was carried out in a body bag.  Mum was carried out on a stretcher.  Dehydrated, malnourished, and barely functioning.  In the words of one doctor: "Your mother was a few weeks away from total organ failure and death."

She was living in a house with a loved one who was tasked with her care.  Someone who was catering to her every need, apparently.

This is a picture Mum 5 days after Dad died, in the care of Alberta paramedics who had taken her to hospital.  She looks happy, doesn't she?

When these pictures were taken, she had only a foggy idea of her own name, or what had happened in the previous 24 months.  Looks happy, doesn't she?

She would never sleep in her house again.  She returned two more times.  She had lived in the house for 28 years and on those two trips, barely remembered it.  Couldn't remember the bedroom she'd slept in for the previous 7 years. A room she'd decorate.  Put the wallpaper up.  Sewn the curtains herself.

The house would be sold two months later in order to pay for the massive debts that Mum and Dad had run up ... almost $200,000 Canadian.  Debts they'd incurred simply because Dad was too proud to admit they couldn't afford the home any more, and because he'd kept Mum away from the finances out of pride and hubris.

Mum looks oblivious to that debt doesn't she?

She was.  Bless her.  Me old mum.

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