“How many more days?” my Grandad Keith asked my Nanny Ann.
“Three” she replied. “Three days until Amy’s wedding.”
He gripped the arms of his chair and gave my Nanny a determined look.
“We’re going to do this.”
The morning of my wedding was one of mixed emotions. I knew that my Grandad was determined to see this day. Throughout the planning process I involved him in everything; showing him photos of my dress and even trying out the seats at the venue to make sure he had the best possible view.
St Barnabas had been supporting my Grandad at home. He was very unwell but he didn’t want to go into the Hospice until after my big day. His day-to-day care had been taken over by the nurses which enabled us to be a family in that time, rather than his carers. However, in the days leading up to the wedding, my Nanny was starting to get worried about getting Grandad ready.
Unable to stand, it would have been a huge job for her to lift and dress him, shave his face and make him look the part. Little did she know that soon we would receive a phone call that diminished our worries.
The St Barnabas nurses called us to arrange to come to the house to wash, dress and make my Grandad look and feel handsome on the morning of my big day. This enabled my Nanny to take her time, enjoy the process of getting herself all done up and allowed her to relax before the day ahead.
Everything fell into place and as I looked back down the aisle, there he was: in the ‘best seat in the house’ grinning from ear to ear.
A special dance was arranged for my Nanny and Grandad and not a dry eye was left in the house as they danced together to ‘Days of our Lives’ by Queen.
He felt proud and included and was able to join in the celebrations with our family. I think the secret red wine in his beaker may have helped too; I honestly thought it was juice!
When I look back now, following his death, amongst our happy memories together is his smile at my wedding day and I want to thank St Barnabas for their part in making that a reality.
I would like to invite you to dedicate your Forget Me Not in memory of someone special, like I have done for my Grandad. Every donation for a Forget Me Not will help raise much needed funds for more families like ours. Thanks to the incredible care and support from St Barnabas, we became a family again rather than Grandad’s carers. This allowed us to make the most of our time together and create the treasured memories we have today.