Last week the situation with my dad changed again. Because of the nature of his illness it was decided that he either had to be moved to a hospice or have a 24 hour carer. He made it extremely clear that he did not want to be anywhere else and since my mum, despite her best intentions, was unable to do everything he needed, a carer was asked for.
Much to our surprise we were told someone would be with us the next day, so I had to quickly convert the house's extra bedroom into something that didn't resemble a storage bay. Stuff was moved, walls and floors cleaned, a bed and mattress ordered and linens bought. Within a few hours the change was complete.
The next day a cheery Zimbabwean lady arrived. For a short while she was an invader; taking over from some of my mum's roles as well as from one of the more regular three-times-a-day carers. There was a brief and difficult period of friction, then amazingly, it all settled down. Dad enjoyed the new house guest's laugh and began to talk her through one of his photo albums.
For a short while we can all relax, knowing both my mum and dad were in good hands. J and I could spend a bit more time concentrating on our children and possibly even tidy up the mess our own house had become. This may sound trivial, but we needed it.