The Day of Drooping Tulips

It was a funny old morning when we woke up.
For a change, I wasn’t sleepily groggy even though it was only 6am and as we had no plans for the day and the subject had come up yesterday, we decided to go Down South and visit my Mum.
In truth, we had thought to go tomorrow, but when I thought about it this morning, it made more sense to go today as we would avoid the lethal Saturday traffic within a ten mile radius of my sister’s house.

To be honest, once we get off the motorway it’s a horrible journey. It doesn’t matter which way we go, there will be hold ups somewhere, but if we time it right, we can do it in three hours or so, which isn’t too bad at all, as that includes a potty break.

We actually set off just after 7.30am, and decided to get fuel locally as it was likely to be cheaper, and also pick up a carton of milk for Sis in case she was running low, plus some flowers for Mum.
I picked out a lovely bunch of red tulips, perky and tightly budded, so they would survive the journey OK and last at least five days.
coffee and baconWhen we changed drivers, we also had a bacon roll and coffee before moving on, and arrived just before 11am having rung Sis when we were about an hour away. We knew she wouldn’t have appreciated a call at 6am, but no problems were apparent, so we were looking forward to our visit.

When we arrived, Mum had just got up and was pleased to see us. We had hugs all round and I gave her the tulips. However, they got put on the side and forgotten, so I got a vase to put them in water. When I took the cellophane wrapper off, they were so limp, they wouldn’t stand upright! Sis had a sachet of flower food, and I put a teaspoon of sugar in the water hoping to spruce them up a bit. It didn’t happen, and they just flopped over the top of the vase looking forlorn and lifeless.

As things turned out, Sis was expecting both of her daughters and offspring, so there was going to be a houseful. Mum seemed OK until the first visitors arrived, but then with the three way conversation of which she was not included, she sat in her chair with the paper but didn’t open it to either read or do the crossword as she used to. Hubby and I tried to draw her into the conversation, but it was very difficult, so we suggested we take her out.
It would have been lovely to take her down to Hamworthy Park (last year’s visit photos)
maggie combi
where we took Maggie as a puppy, just for a drive and to get her out of the house.
Sadly, she wasn’t keen, turned back to the unopened paper in her lap and just seemed to ‘switch off’.
Meanwhile, the tulips on the table were still drooping (which was reflecting the mood), so I got a taller vase and transferred them into that, also putting a penny in the water in the hope that it would revive them.

My nieces and great nieces were loud chatty, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen any of them. There are four years between my sister’s daughters, the eldest of which is a grandmother in her own right to a two year old boy, who I’ve never seen. She has not changed much, but her fifteen year old daughter who I last saw in 2010, has, and I didn’t recognise her.  However, you can tell she is her mother’s daughter, same style of dress, same attitude, same volume. My younger niece however has changed a lot, and looks what can only be described as haggard. At 33, she looks 10 years older, and whilst she and her sister ‘caught up’, her four year old daughter was content to play with her Play-doh at the table. Bless her, she tried to include my Mum in her game, and although she took the sticky mouldable plastic lumps when passed to her, she didn’t do anything with them.

We thought there was just too much going on for Mum to take in, so decided to leave.
(Next time we will be more organised and let my sister know more in advance of our visit. That way Mum won’t be confused by too many visitors and we will definitely take her out).
The tulips had started to pick up now, and Mum got up saying she’d come out to see us off.

I hugged her tight and she started to snuffle.
Alarmed that she was going to cry, I stood back, still with my arms round her, and asked if she was OK. She said my hair had been tickling her nose, and it was the longest she’d ever known me to wear it. She also said how much she liked my jumper, and I was glad I’d worn old faithful, the red sparkly ‘Mrs Christmas’  sweater she’s knitted me all those years ago (not that she could remember).
maggie and me   yep, this one  pensive 1

After more hugs and ‘Love Yous’, we left her smiling at the gate waving us goodbye.
happy birthday

Note:
Tomorrow there will be another houseful as my sister is doing a birthday party for her eldest daughter’s friend’s two children. Apparently she does this every year as the date falls on the anniversary of losing her husband, and rather than mope around being miserable, she cooks birthday cakes and goodies for these youngsters. My Mum was confused today as to who these children were, as she couldn’t place them, or their mother, as members of her own family. I hope she enjoys the party tomorrow though.

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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2 Responses to The Day of Drooping Tulips

  1. Sounds like a tough time for both your sister and your mum.

    • It is, and we appreciate how difficult it is for them both. We looked after Mum to give my sister a weekend break a little while ago, and will do the same again shortly once the weather is better.

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