Last night was the shortest of the year; at 5:00 it was as dark as if it was the middle of the night, there was a beautiful moon glowing, and mist was swirling all around.
The mist is appropriate at the moment. I have been thinking long and hard about posting this, but, I feel I want to share, perhaps need to, even, and you are all so kind and generous I feel comfortable sharing.
On Thursday, my Dad was admitted to the psychiatric ward of our local hospital. Happily he went voluntarily, but it was a choice of go or be made to go. Horrible words. But he needed to go, he is just too ill to be at home any more, and it has been taking such a toll on my poor Mum. You see he has always had his issues, but since a few weeks after the wedding he has been depressed. He has long periods where he is completely non-responsive to the world around him; he stands and stares into space because he cannot remember what else he should do. Then come times when he is gripped with an obsession, and cannot be reasoned with. He thinks he has an infection and everything he touches he will contaminate. He thinks he must sell the house to settle debts that do not exist.
I went to visit him yesterday, on my own. My dear Carl would come with me, but by the time he is home, visiting hours are after. Mum cannot visit for a day or two in case it makes him want to come home. So, it was me that went. My older brother has washed his hands of us as it is too hard for him to deal with. I am glad that I rang before I went, for although I knew he was bad, I had not realised how bad. I asked what he would like me to bring, and it was too much for him to cope with. After five minutes of other chat, he said he would like a comb, so I took him one. He ignored everything else I took, but held the comb and would not let it go.
It was hard to know what to talk about with him. I had to lead him by the hand to get him to a chair. It is a locked ward. I spoke to the most lovely nurse before I went, John, and he was very kind and reassuring. He said that for now they are just observing and monitoring, becasue although they believe what we have told them, they need to see it for themselves to know how to treat it.
I feel so powerless at the moment. We are pulling together though, and when Carl held me in his arms as I cried into the soup I was making, I did feel that yes, we can pull through this. But for now, this is why there are cards, addressed but not sent. Parcels wrapped, but not addressed. Things left unbought. Planning for a Christmas that will be unfamiliar, that we are stumbling through together, feeling for the way forward.
Now I promise to come back soon, and post on happier things, to give you a list of scrumptious music to listen to, to tell you about my handmade gifts, and to offer you a recipe or two. But for now, I will say Merry, Merry Christmas to you all. The moon shines through the mist, and one day soon, all will be well.