I was due a visit to Mum in her nursing home and it coincided with her getting a very nasty infection, which left her burbling nonsense in French and very confused. She’d only just got over the vomiting virus which laid her (and me) low for a couple of weeks, so her immune system has taken a battering.
By the Wednesday, I was worried that she was going to die, so called in the parish priest to anoint her (give her the last rites). She kept her eyes closed but nodded at the prayers and even opened them to say the Notre Pere and receive Communion. She had a beatific smile all the way through.
It reminded me of being anointed in intensive care; I had the shorter version as I was knocking hard on the doors of eternity, but I remember it as being immensely comforting and a general feeling of ‘being ready to go’.
Thankfully the antibiotics kicked in with Mum and I realised she was getting better when helping her to eat a cheese sandwich, she refused the crusts. She’s never liked crusts.
A couple of days later, she was well enough for me to come home. I needed the rest; it took me a couple of days in bed to recover any bounce. I just don’t have the resilience I used to.
So Maman lives to eat custard another day.