Sliding doors

Yesterday took an unexpected turn, literally. I was zipping down the A243 on my way to my spiritual mentor’s countryside cabin, where I was going to, in her words ‘Deepen my connection to grace’ but as I approached the roundabout that joined the M23, my sister called to say that my dad was in an ambulance on his way to Brighton hospital.

My stomach lurched as I heard her say: ‘The carers found him on the floor. He’d been there for a while.’

Did I turn left and have three hours of unadulterated ‘me time’ or take the exit that would lead me to my father? I chose the latter. Of course I did, I was too concerned about Dad to think about grace. It felt like a real sliding doors moment and there were no regrets (although I felt a smidge guilty when Marion revealed she’d got up at 6am to make me pea and mint soup, my favourite).

I did ask grace for help. I requested a smooth and safe drive down to Sussex and also pleaded for things to go well at the hospital. Aside from a parking nightmare (the space was so tight, I had to clamber into the rear seats to make my escape) things went better than expected.

For a start, every time my sister and I felt lost or in a bit of a panic, someone would appear and show us the way round the labyrinthine building, tea appeared just as it was needed and a kind chap in the cafe gave me a free cup of milk when Dad decided that’s what he fancied.

The care was excellent and Dad is now at home, waiting for me. I’m going to stay the night to make sure he is okay.

I spent today with my spiritual mentoring group. It’s a good job I was in too much of a chaotic spin to check what was on the agenda, because it was ’emotions’ and to be honest, my impulse was to run out of the room when I was asked to delve into mine.

Marion explained that we waste a great deal of energy burying feelings we don’t want to acknowledge. Guilty m’lud. While the world, his wife and my family often get glimpses of my intense anger, I don’t like to show the fear and despair that lies beneath it. This morning, it got an airing and I now feel like a rump steak that’s been battered half to death by a tenderiser. The process was so intense, my legs shook uncontrollably throughout.

The good news is, Dad has gone off chocolate and his fridge is filled to the brim with dark Kit-Kats. The plan is to work my way through them whilst watching Netflix as he snoozes. I think I’ve earned it.

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