It was a horrible shock that I did not react well to. The last thing I have been thinking about recently is Mummy's personal belongings. It has been a case of feeling our way through a hazy miasma we have had no choice but to navigate, requiring all hands to be very much on deck. There has been little time for anything else.
So, to discover that someone had, in a moment of madness, decided to put a variety of small items on eBay without first running it either my sister or I, hit me hard.
My rational mind was confounded. I could not comprehend how such a mistake could have been made. Whilst we try and manage every last detail of my mother's ongoing care, this really was the straw that broken the proverbial camel's back. And this particular breed of camel is pretty tough.
My reaction might not have made much sense to the man on the Clapham omnibus but, even now looking back at recent events, I do not feel they were disproportionate. It's not about the value of the items, or what they might have fetched had they been marketed appropriately. It's about the items themselves, and what they represent.
See, these tangible reminders of the past have never before been so intrinsically valuable. Things that connect me to easier, lighter, happier times, are suddenly extremely precious. I have found myself scouring photo albums, and glancing through the pages of old appointment diaries, to recollect the relationship I am afraid I am losing.
My mother is contemplating leaving her home, and moving into residential nursing care. We are keen she is safe and comfortable, and can no longer be certain that the place we have thought of as home will be the best place for her looking forward. The list of medications she is prescribed is ever growing. There are only so many more adaptations we can make to the house that was not designed with mobility needs in mind. The woman I have consistently respected if not always admired is the shadow of her former self, and is coming to terms with the gravity of her illness that has left so little of her. It has annihilated her physically, and is now gnawing away at her psychologically such that she has become dependent on those who care for her.
To describe the experience of witnessing the person to whom you owe everything withering away as heart breaking is a woeful understatement.
My heart has been shattered in recent months.
Shattered, yet somehow still whole.