The River Dart this morning
to The Riverford Farm Kitchen
near Totnes in South Devon, where a dear friend and I
celebrated our joint birthdays with a three course meal - kale and courgette caesar salad,
hake fillet baked in a caper sauce and a medley of veggies - including the best rosemary roast potatoes.....although everything was slightly over salted.....
followed by their famous desserts - her wobbly custard tart and orange and polenta caramel cake and
my sticky toffee pudding and pear and almond tart smothered in hot creme anglaise... a feast to only have on rare and infrequent occasions.
I have been re-reading my blog from this time last year....a whole month leading up to this weekend and I'm so surprised to find that not everything was as I have been remembering it. Not the facts of what happened or all Robin's appointments at the hospital and people taking him out and moving him into the home, and how he didn't want to eat or drink and all my worrying about him....I remember all that.
But two things struck me - one that the head nurse who looked after him did try and warn me that he was deteriorating very quickly and they were really just trying to keep him as comfortable as possible and the doctor said about not tying to make him use the breathing machine any more if it stressed him.
She didn't say it in so many words but the best way she could. And I couldn't hear it
And the second thing is that I have been beating myself up so much about how I didn't spend proper time with Robin and only tried to keep making him eat and drink.
But if I believe my own words at the time it's not true. Maybe I've only remembered my guilt and frustration....and let it obscure the other stuff....the loving I did too.
This is what I wrote at the end of my blog on 18th October 2016
Driving him in the dusk tonight towards the sea, stopping to buy fuel, pointing out the sun dipping behind the hills, even though I'm tired and I can see that he's getting tired too, and even though he won't remember where we went, I know that this moment is all we have. And it's better than fretting about how many spoonfuls of pureed broccoli he had tonight. And if it's enough to keep him alive a bit longer.
Nothing will keep him alive if this disease continues to devour him from the inside. But I can feed him love, never ending spoonfuls of it, for as long as he can smile his crooked smile, stick out his tongue at me, and breathe his quick and shallow breaths.