Nana Thoughts
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Nana Thoughts

Nothing like the Blitz

‘You should write up a blog’, my eldest son informed me, ’it’ll be interesting, not many people of your age are doing it’.

That would be because very few of us ‘oldies’ read one, or as in my case have only recently learnt what one is. However, having been told it would stop me from going barmy, I find myself sitting at my laptop and deciding to have a go.

I am an eighty-year old mum with four children and nine grandchildren, divorced fourteen years ago, so living alone. I am a war baby and do remember some of that time, and certainly remember what I was told about it. So, when I knew I needed to self-isolate, I knew I’d be fine. After all, I had lived in London through the Blitz, had been woken many times to go down to the cellar during a raid, and lived through rationing, so this would be a piece of cake.

As it’s turning out, it’s nothing like the Blitz! Then we all thronged together into shelters, pubs were full, my parents were hairdressers and their salon was never busier. ‘Live today, we may be gone tomorrow!’, was the cry. We knew where the enemy was, we could see the planes, hear the bombs, play in the craters they’d left behind, we were physically all together.

This is very different. I am isolated, looking out of the window at a scene that is spooky and surreal. Someone’s waved a magic wand, and although things look the same, there are no people, no cars, or aeroplanes about. Silence.

My one big fear through all this is for my fourth child, Eli, a son who is classified as ‘special needs’, but the old term ‘severely mentally handicapped’, better describes the enormity of his condition. Physically normal with the most fabulous smile and shining eyes, he cannot speak or look after himself in any way. He is now forty-seven years old, but looks like a teenager. He lives in a village, in a home where his every need is wonderfully cared for, by carers who are simply angels. I visit him every week and he brings me pure joy.

So, when I suddenly realised, three weeks ago, that his home was in lockdown and I couldn’t visit, I didn’t know how I was going to cope. Hopefully, I reasoned, he wouldn’t miss seeing me and all would be fine, but would he miss the treats that I always took him and the ‘kiss necks’ that only I can give him and that he loves? Then I was texted that he himself had a cold, one of his carers was self- isolating with symptoms and another was on annual leave! I panicked! Feeling totally impotent to help, I telephoned his home on ‘Facetime’. Normally, when Eli sees me he comes up very close to my face, puts his cheek next to mine to feel the vibration of my voice, then leans back and grins at me.

When he heard my voice speaking to his carer he snatched the phone, put it right up to his face and then smiled at me. He was fine, I was sobbing. Since then the home have bought him an I-pad, so I and his three siblings can easily telephone and see for ourselves how he is. Needless to say, they are pulling out all the stops to care for these very vulnerable adults and I am eternally grateful to them.

Lots more to say, tune in next time.

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