Present Tense – Past Tense – Wednesday 15th April 2020

The original Mrs P is not well. My mom.

Mom, Dorothy and my dad, Bernard on their wedding day in 1955

This forces me to follow the herd and talk about COVID 19 as mom is in a home where the dreaded virus has been confirmed and mom, never one to miss out, has decided to join in.

My brothers can’t visit. One is asthmatic the other has a wife in the high risk category. Since there is only Mrs. P and I and since we have no mates the brothers have declared me expendable. So, I have donned my PPE and traveled up to sunny Bromsgrove to visit mom.

Some would suggest that PPE improves my looks.

Not much more than a month ago most people thought PPE was something you might have been miss-sold by a solicitor with dyslexia. Now, we all know. The fear factor that has been hard wired, with perhaps too great efficiency, into the public psyche means that we don’t just know what it is but we now all want a piece of it. Whilst I like to think that I rock the look, none of it will be forming any part of my daily sartorial choices.

Did I mention that every cloud has a silver lining? If one can be derived from this situation it is this…

…wait for it…

Gandalf is, technically, back on tour.

Gandalf to the rescue

Mom’s home is almost 2 hours away. I will be with her all day but don’t want to impose on the staff. I also don’t want to interact with people on my return journey since I will have been in direct contact with the dreaded lurgy. I also want to eat and drink. So, Gandalf is coming with me to provide a lunchtime sanctuary, a means of making tea and a bed if necessary. He is a star.

The true stars here however are the staff at mom’s nursing home, St. John’s Court, Bromsgrove where Mom has been a resident since 2015. Mom has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and, shortly after Dad’s death in 2015 she moved into the home as she was no longer able to look after herself without Dad’s help.

St. John’s is a bit like Hogwarts for the elderly.

What lies beyond platform 9 3/4
Mom, about to put on the Sorting Hat shortly after her arrival – Hufflepuff

Mom loves it here. She is always singing the praises of the staff and telling us how lovely it is. She has thrived with these marvellous people to care for her. And then we have the acid test of how good the place is. Margaret, mom’s twin sister. Margaret, and her husband John, visit every couple of weeks. Or, at least they did before lockdown. They are well known here (some would say ‘infamous’) and Margaret thinks the place and the staff are just great too. Boy would we have been in trouble if we hadn’t found somewhere for mom that Margaret approved of.


Yesterday, Mom and I spent as pleasant a day as is possible under the circumstances. Unfortunately however, her condition worsened over night and I was back today. Holding her hand and wittering on about inane rubbish. She never woke up. She didn’t suffer.

Mom died at 8.15pm on Thursday 16th April. A fighter to the end.

Mom and Dad in happier times – Circa 1953

R.I.P. Dorothy Evelyn Pitts.

8th August 1933 – 16th April 2020

16 thoughts on “Present Tense – Past Tense – Wednesday 15th April 2020

  1. Neil, I am so sorry to hear that your mum has passed away. I’m glad you could be there with her. My thoughts and prayers are with the whole family xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Firstly, so sorry to hear about your Mum glad she didn’t suffer.
    As always a first class piece of writing.
    I lost my Mum nearly 3yrs ago now one can tell you what that feels like.
    Glad Gandalf came to your rescue when you most needed a home.
    Love Barbara

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely piece of writing Neil. I’m so sorry to hear you have lost your mum. What a privilege to be by her side; she was so lucky to have you there with her. I know how it feels to say goodbye to your mum. Never known pain quite like it. Thinking of you. Take care, Anthea x

    Liked by 1 person

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