I’m spending my time mostly thinking back at present. I do it every summer, very painfully, reliving Russell’s illness and that’s hard to deal with. Once the anniversary of his death is over, it eases somewhat, but every week after brings its anniversaries. Ro and Dora’s wedding, birthdays, when I went to visit Ziggi, when I went to visit Irene in Maastricht, barely a month after Russell died, and so on. Both of those friends were dying, of course, and Irene died in December the same year, but that didn’t prevent our time together involving a lot of fun and laughter.
My friend Mike turned up today. Some of you have met him; he and his wife Ann (not blogger Mike and Ann) turned up unexpectedly at a couple of our blog parties and were invited to eat with us. Ann was already rather odd, unable to speak much but eating sweet things greedily, which were symptoms of her Alzheimer’s disease, which has spent the last few years overtaking her completely. I called on Mike a few weeks ago and then he said he felt she didn’t have long, today he told me she died on the 20th August: coincidentally, three years to the day after Russell. he said that she had lost the ability to eat but the nursing home fed her by tube, which he felt was unhelpful and unkind. Understandably, nursing homes err on the cautious side, but there was no hope of improvement, let alone recovery and he felt that it just increased the ordeal for her, himself and their children. In truth, I felt he looked better than he had for a long time, now the stress of her illness – and the loss of her personality – was over, which is sad in itself. Anyway, I need some help with the older vintage car, so he’s agreed to come back in a week or two. Although in his mid-eighties now, he’s a fine car mechanic with a specialism in very old cars and what he doesn’t know about them isn’t worth knowing.