Last Monday I wrote about my mother-in-law Joan and the flowers I take to her each week from my garden. Covid meant the care home where she’s living stopped all visits for almost six months to protect residents from infection. We had just resumed visiting and were meeting in the garden in 30 minute appointment slots.
The day after writing my piece, we received an e mail cancelling all further visits due to rising covid numbers in the UK. We can stand in the car park and wave through a window. Or we can attempt video calling.
I’m writing now to say thank you to all of you who’ve got in touch with kind messages and helpful suggestions. You’ve generally bolstered me up at a difficult time. I’m writing this blog as a diary of my gardening life, and also as a record of the times we are all going through, and the situation for the elderly, especially those with dementia who cannot ‘see’ their families in person. No criticism is meant for the care home. They are doing an unimaginably difficult job keeping everyone safe, and we are enormously grateful for everything.
Here’s some photos of Joan with my bouquets of flowers from the garden. The photos were taken when she was still living in her own home.
The flowers were loosely tied so that Joan could spend a few happy hours arranging them in assorted vases and fill the windowsills with colour. She especially loved having flowers in the house as carers would always comment on how cheerful they were and how much they enjoyed visiting Joan and her husband Keith. The carers said the couple were their favourites, and I’m sure it was because Joan and Keith tried to be as little trouble as possible -and there was always chocolates, biscuits and cake for them. They tried to look after the carers, and show their appreciation. A very special couple, and I’m proud to call them my in-laws.
This is a favourite photo of Joan on her wedding day on the steps of Cosby Methodist Chapel. Joan arranged the flowers for the chapel, while keith played the organ twice on a Sunday and for weddings and funerals, for more than 60 years.
I found this old photo in a family album. Florence May, Joan’s mother, is on the left, with Florence’s sisters, Jess, Hattie and Marion. All of them were to suffer from dementia. I stare at this photo and feel so sad. These young girls had no idea what was ahead of them. None of us ever do.
Thank you for reading.
This is what I wrote last week : https://bramblegarden.com/2020/09/21/in-a-vase-on-monday-flowers-for-joan/
And here : https://bramblegarden.com/2018/09/30/sunflowers-for-joan/
Thank you to Cathy for her #IAVOM meme, which I first joined in with when Joan was diagnosed with dementia and I started growing cut flowers to take to her.
#InAVaseOnMonday : https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/category/gardens/in-a-vase-on-monday/.
A video from the care home. https://www.facebook.com/MHAaigburth/videos/1565414246976429/. Please do not view this video if you are feeling overwhelmed with sadness at this time. Wait until you are feeling stronger.
UPDATE FRIDAY 2 OCTOBER. ‘Window’ visits have now also been cancelled, due to the rising covid numbers. Thank you again for reading my blog.