Mum is home. Hurrah! For her, it has been a long three months.
She has missed the spring bulbs – and the daffodils which this year were glorious.
She was not there for the arrival of the new puppy – and isn’t that a treat to come, meeting wee Benny, the naughty Norfolk?!
Along the way, she lost Easter and a couple of birthdays. She did not see the trees budding, or the bushes bursting into life.
All in all, it’s not what you hope for when you are getting in years…
My mother took a turn in early March. When the ambulance came she was taken to the infirmary for a check-up.
A welcoming committee for mum
Roll on 12 weeks, and here I am. Waiting outside the local cottage hospital that she was eventually transferred to.
I am there to pick her up and bring her home. In the car she is ultra-excited.
She is talking non-stop as we motor along. And there at her house on the loch is a welcoming party.
Two swans and their three young have settled themselves at the bottom of her garden. It must surely be an omen. I tell mum it is a good sign.
Nursing staff are angels from heaven
We eat soup and sandwiches at the kitchen table. And over the next couple of hours neighbours pop their heads round the door to say hello.
Ken from next door arrives with a huge smile on his seventy-something-year-old face.
He prides himself on being her paper boy and informs her he will be back in service from now on.
Folk are very kind. And as we are increasingly realising, our nursing staff are angels from heaven.
These dedicated men and women could not have given mum more care and attention.
They have administered to her. They have fed her, washed her, and read to her. They have built her back up.
It cannot be the pay that motivates. That takes them into wards to treat strangers with warmth and compassion.
And the carers that will now be coming in to check on my mother will also never make a fortune from their work. But they, too, are doing the jobs that many would baulk at.
These are good people. And I am in awe of their skill and compassion.
The two youngest MacNaughties go walkabout
I settle mum in and there is a call from the chief. The two youngest MacNaughties have gone walkabouts. But he tells me not to worry. He is on the case.
I cannot get too stressed. Because mum is back in her stride. She is 92 years old and going strong again.
‘Don’t you worry. I’ve a fair few years left in me yet,’ she tells me.
I make supper and leave. The carers will be in shortly to help her to bed.
It is not the life she thought she would end up with. Then sometimes you just have to get on with it.
I will be back at the bungalow in the morning. In the meantime, I must return to my own home and join the search party…