Receiving a phone call from Help For Heroes today was the most wonderful thing. Especially as we genuinely thought they only assisted the serving. I wish I could remember who told me that.
Thank you Heledd.
I got to see "the old man" this evening thanks to Jess (again) being the cloned me, and I'm a bit morose to be honest after seeing him.
I met a wonderful nurse I'd not met before who gave me some great information about a local forces charity I'd not come across. SO much to do. Lovely, lovely lady.
I had a note left for me by the lovely Andi who's a damned good friend and also a nurse on the ward below. She'd been to visit Steve, he was really pleased about it, he thinks she's lovely - she really is.
Unfortunately that was about all he was sure about. I gave him the good news about his referral to London and he was very pleased about it - I saw a little spark of hope. He was more pleased when I told him that I was trying to arrange to fly him. Steve, you see, is a wonderful but straight forward man. He lives for only a small number of things. 1) me, 2) cakes 3)socialising/entertaining and 4)flying.
The prospect of being on an air craft again for him is the most wonderful thing - even if it is "bloody rotary". Flying on a Hercules again is his ultimate goal, the aircraft is ingrained into the fabric of his being.
I thought he was doing okay and understanding what I was saying, but then he started to tell me how "the boys" had been saying earlier how he should be transferred to the London Free Hospital, and then some pilots who had died there, then before we knew it we were going down a very confused, surreal and slurred line of conversation. I tried to keep bringing him back, telling him a list of names of well wishers, his face lit up when I mentioned "Floydy" and Mr Belcher, Mr Roughton et al. and he was briefly overwhelmed by the support and love pointing in his direction, but I don't think he'd remember it now. That's okay - I get to make his day again tomorrow when I tell him again.
Sometimes, like when I haven't seen him for a day because the toilet of doom has been being fitted, I forget. I forget how much seeing him this way stabbs me in the gut. I forget, until I have to submit photos for an article, how he used to be.
Larger than life, passionate to the point of annoyance, warm, kind, friendly, giving, capable, fiercely independent, fiercely protective of Meg and me, contrary, driven.
I used to love it when he was home. I used to be able to be downstairs or something and whenever he was home he used to sing. Allllllll the time. To me, to himself, but mainly to the dogs. The dogs worship him, he spent all his free time talking to them, playing with them, walking them, spoiling them bloody rotten, training them, annoying them, winding them up. I miss that.