It was a beautifully, hot, sunny Sunday and it was my turn to spend the day at my parent's house looking after Mummy who these days was spending more and more time in bed, resting. However, this particular day she wanted to get up, go downstairs and sit in her beloved garden. Gardening was one of Mummy's passions and the fruits of her years of hard work and attention to detail in creating a beautiful, colourful oasis gave her and Dad much joy and attracted much admiration.
What I particularly remember about this day was that Mummy wanted to wear a dress which, for her, was very unusual. Mummy only wore dresses on special occassions and holidays, so I found myself delving into the back of her wardrobe to find her a few to choose from. Clothes for Mummy were a huge priority in her life and she was quite particular - in a very stylish way I hasten to add - about what she wore. Her brain tumour exacerbated this and my sister and I found ourselves having a daily battle with her over what she wanted to wear. She would get an idea in her head about an item of clothing, believing that she had it in her wardrobe. Sometimes she did, more often than not she didn't and we had a very tricky task on our hands finding a compromise for her. Trivial maybe, but nonetheless important to her.
So having dressed her, put on her make-up and brushed her hair, my next hurdle was how to get her downstairs. Mummy was pretty much unable to walk by now, so having wheeled her to the landing, Dad and I carried her down the stairs. Oh my did she curse and swear at us! The steroids she had been on had made her skin so thin and tender so she wasn't at all tolerant to the slightest amount of pressure! It was a huge ordeal for her and I really did wonder if we would be able to get her back upstairs. However, we did it and got her safely back into her wheelchair and outside in to the early summer sunshine.
And that's where Dad, Mummy and I spent the rest of the day, in the garden, chatting away and drinking champagne. Mr LMLD and the girls joined us in the afternoon and Dad took the helm at the barbecue. It was a day for "living in the moment". For those few hours nothing else mattered. We all just savoured each other's company, banter, smiles and laughter, knowing inside that it would be one of the very last few days of it's kind. Oh so bittersweet, but oh such a happy, special and wonderful day.