So I went to see Uncle Tommy a couple of days ago. He’ll be 91 this weekend and went into a care home at the end of May. In fact he went in 4 days before we found out Linda was going to die. I went to see him on the Thursday of the week he moved in. Linda went into the Western General the following day and on the Saturday they told us she was going to die.
Uncle Tommy was her favourite. I remember she told me when she was young she wanted Tommy to be her Dad. His brother, her step-father was a drunken, bad tempered bastard. But Tommy was always full of life, drink free and took time to spend with Linda. So when his wife died a few years back it was Linda who stepped in to look out for him. She took him to the doctors, hospital appointments, sent me to his house with food parcels and had him to our house as often as she could. This was despite the fact he wasn’t actually a relative and his own nephews and nieces never went near him.
She only left the hospice twice – once to come home because she couldn’t remember what our house was like – and once to see Tommy in the care home. Which she thought was great and helped put her mind at ease. I organised a couple of escorted visits for Tommy to come and see Linda and his last visit was two days before Linda fell into a coma.
When she died I phoned the care home to let them know and asked them to break it to him gently. I couldn’t face him that week as I was too much of a mess. I still am but I knew I had to visit, for Linda’s sake. So I chapped on the door and went in. I was surprised when he just smiled and asked how I was. Then I noticed he was looking behind me, down the corridor, and I realised he didn’t know.
So I had to tell him that Linda was dead. God, he wept. Nearly as much as me. She was his favourite as well. His pal. She looked after him. She loved him and he loved her. He knows I’ll still visit but with her gone I think a wee part of him is gone as well. Strangely, it was quite nice to be with someone who loved her as I haven’t spoken or seen anyone else since she died. And I don’t know anyone who knew her anymore, apart from her family. And they don’t count.
After the NHS fucked up the first time and she ended up partially disabled she really withdrew from the world. She was in constant pain thanks to the botched knee operation and the misdiagnosed ankle problem and I was content just to be with her. After all, I didn’t have anyone to withdraw from. And as long as we had each other, nothing else mattered. So for the last six years it’s just been the two of us.
Here she is on Tommy’s last birthday. My beautiful Lindy.