I’m spending my 5th to last day at work doing important things:
looking up gifs of dogs doing stupid things;
browsing puppies to adopt at Battersea Dogs Home;
locking and unlocking my new iPhone 5s with the fingerprint sensor (I’m still gobsmacked at how great this is).
I’ve now got my phone to recognise all 10 fingers. I wonder if I can get it to recognise and unlock using the tip of my nose. Or with certain arm movements during interpretive dance pieces. The world is just full of possibilities.
My little leopard sister has just moved to Battersea in London. For those of you who don’t know, Battersea is famous for, among other things (maybe) its dog and cat rehoming centre, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
That is a true thing. I write it because it is a true thing and because I want to see how it feels to write it.
I don’t know how I feel when I write it because I turn away from the feelings. They are too much. They threaten to drown me, so I turn away and pretend they are not there. Here. In my heart. Soon I will face them, but not today.
Some other true things:
My little leopard sister, Julia, and I spend our lives shuttling back and forth between our homes and South London to be with mum, to ensure she takes her medication, to make sure she washes, to make sure she eats. Mum lost interest in food months ago. She is OKish one moment, vacant and staring the next. These vacant, super-confused episodes are, we were told a few days ago, seizures. She is now on anti-seizure medication to go with all the rest. Her tumour is growing rapidly.
We are exhausted and sad and lost and try to snatch hours, a couple of days, of our own lives back when we are home. It’s not easy. I drink too much and smoke too many skinny roll-ups, and that’s just the way it is. It’s OK.
Mum is no longer being treated by the hospital and her care has transferred to the hospice home care team. These people are amazing, wonderful people, but it brings it home to us. She is dying, and quickly too.
The colours white and blue distress her now.
Some strange things cause us little flashes of sad joy now: mum was trying to write a shopping list. She wanted chamomile tea and went to write it down. She gave the shopping list to my sister, who read on it the one item: Camelia Milk.
Julia and I both think Camelia Milk sounds rather lovely.
If such a thing existed, I imagine Camelia Milk would come in an old-fashioned milk bottle, the type that used to get left outside your dorrstep in the morning by a little humming, electric milk float. The Camelia Milk bottle would be slightly frosted, have a cork stopper and a simple camelia flower burned into the cork’s top. If there were such a thing in the shops I’d buy it and give it to mum and maybe that would make her happy, for a while.