That’s what we call ourselves, the three musketeers, three sisters who although separated when we were younger are very close. Now as middle aged women, we’re a tad juvenile, making up for lost time I expect.
That almost came to an abrupt end this Christmas, musketeer no 3 (youngest sister) was a tad unwell, on Christmas morning when we spoke then assured me she’d be watching the telly for the afternoon and would be resting.
‘I’m grand don’t be worrying about me’ she assured me. But something just wasn’t right and I knew it.
The next phone call was Kings Hospital London telling us we needed to be on the ground in the ICU as she was now on life support.
Flights were booked within minutes and bags packed, it turns out mine was packed with four pairs of jeans four bras, shoes I’d never worn before and two tee shirts and two pairs of knickers. Musketeer no two had a similarly packed case. We panicked packed that’s what we did.
Being on the ground was not a pleasant experience, we stood holding her lifeless hand searching her face for a sign of, well a sign of anything actually. There was nothing, she was on life support and had to wait. it was that simple and that complicated.
Family took us in and looked after us, consoling us, feeding us and just being family as only family can be. It’s something we will be forever grateful for.
Our brother came on the ferry and ended up in Holyhead with suit clad Romanians who offered to teach him to play the accordion. He eventually arrived on the ground and decided we should cover all our options and get a priest. I wasn’t sure about this, what if she woke up and the sight of a priest praying over her frightened the bejesus out of her and she had a heart attack.
I was outvoted and so the priest arrived, we stood looking at our sister not sure what we should do. The priest knew, he handed me the cross and made me stand at the end of the bed holding it up, as he anointed her and mumbled some prayers and to my surprise I responded with prayer.
The priest became a regular visitor over the next ten days.
Everyday the doctors said the same thing, ‘this can go either way she cannot sustain life with the help of the machines’ It was heartbreaking to watch her, she was so helpless and fragile and the nurses told us to talk to her. We talked to her, told her of our plans when she got better.
The inane conversations we used to have took on new meaning. I needed to talk to her to tell her about my new pots and plans for my kitchen. I needed to tell her that I tried the hot chocolate she told me about, and that all the Karen Millen sizes were defo off. I wanted to tell her that I didn’t cry t all, musketeer no 2 and fave brother did, but not me. Shur I was stoic so I was. I needed to tell her.
Moving on to day 10, musketeer no 3 wakes up and caused havoc, pure unadulterated havoc. She demanded to be moved to a new Hotel as this one was ‘pure terrible, there’s no food and they strapped me to the bed, what class of a hotel is this’
She was awake and I’m surprised it didn’t make the Evening Standard. We were relieved and happy but above all we now had some time to buy some new clothes. well all except fave brother.
I embarrassed myself regularly as only I can do, asking ‘Do we have any idea how long she’s going to be on that ‘vibrator’ yep that’s what I said out loud.
My brother arrived with his sons clothes all of which were far too small for him and simply refused to buy any more as there was ‘loads of feckin stuff under the Christmas tree at home’
Apologies as this has not been an amusing blog but I needed to share it before I could move on, before I could look at the funnier side of life in middle age.
This was an experience ‘Id rather not repeat, but with help of cousins and our sister in law it was bearable.
Musketeer no 3 is doing better, her memory is not so good she’s developed a stammer which she’s been told will ease with time but her sense of humour remains and she assures me she’ll not be a guest at the Kings anytime soon.
The moral of our Christmas and New Year adventure
Have the inane conversations
Have the coffee and cake
Absolutely have the hot chocolate, with the whipped cream
Don’t get hung up on the small things, slights that people may have given you..
It can all be over in a feckin instant..