Into the night

Mum was not so well yesterday and had to be admitted to the cancer ward at the City General for care, drugs, and observations. I drove over to see for myself where we were at because sometimes only the evidence of your own eyes will provide the proofs you’re looking for. The cancer ward is a new building, it’s like a hotel, in fact, it’s a genuine upgrade on a Holiday Inn sleeping factory; Mum had a flat screen television like a computer on an arm over the bed and broadband is soon to be installed for internet access. It’s better than peeling paint and a dripping tap but it still isn’t where you want to be. It was a horrid, difficult hour or so including a lot of monitoring and assessments; at the end of it Mum was much better and stable. Visiting hours are 6.30-8.30 but we were well past that by the time we were able to talk about what had just happened; they don’t chuck you out, they know the world better than to follow all the rules on their list. I had bought only one thing over with me in the way of ‘a bunch of grapes’ which was Old Stokie’s Christmas present: a jar of Stoke City branded pear drops, which, of course, were late, Santa-wise. I opened them and asked her did she want one. She had an oxygen mask on but said, Yes. It was the first non-medical item that had passed her lips in the time I was there. It was the nearest we got to a nice, or normal, moment, in the context of the moments she had just been through. Later, when I was being hypnotized by the cat’s eyes on the long dark stretches of the A14, those pear drops put me in mind of the bread in that Raymond Carver story, which is well worth reading if you can find it, A Small Good Thing.

Immediately after the cancer ward I went to see Old Stokie to charge my phone before I drove back to Norwich into the small hours. It’s sweet to have a wise old friend to touch base with in S-o-T; we established last night that I’ve only known him nine years or so, but it seems like forever, in both a good and a bad way. We first met when I ‘won’ an online auction for a crush barrier that was in his keeping which came from the old Boothen End at the Victoria Ground; now I remember it it was being auctioned to raise money to help the wife of a Stoke supporter who had cancer. I always imagined OS had nicked the thing in the first place, but if that is the case at least the felony went gone to a good cause, the usual OS way.

More on this tomorrow, maybe.

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22 Responses to Into the night

  1. Ralph says:

    My very best wishes to Mother Winger and yourself.

  2. Stephen Foster says:

    Thanks Ralph, it’s not a pretty disease, up close, but she is a fighter.

  3. Nick King says:

    My heart goes out to your Mum ,your family and yourself, I’ve been in the same situation myself when my Dad Big Norm went through a similar kind of illness.

    Every time you visit there seems to be an awkwardness that never existed before, its hard to nail down what it is, maybe its the feeling of uselessness in ones self that as much as you want to do something to help, its way beyond your powers, I found myself wanting to talk about the happy normal things in life, but then checked myself because it seemed to me that if I did it would seem to Norm that we were all enjoying ourselves whilst he was stuck in there fighting for his life, silly I know but that’s how I felt.

    Thinking about it later I realised that the stilted conversation didn’t really matter it was just being there, holding his hand now and again and telling him how Stoke were doing that really mattered.

    Chin up Youth

  4. Geraldine says:

    We are thinking of you over here too, best wishes to your Mum.

  5. OS says:

    ‘Unfortunately’, winger, it was Swiss who fetched the barrier, and he is the most honest person I’ve ever known. I’m ashamed that he’s my son at times. He certainly doesn’t take after me. I would have nicked it, and put it down as a good blag. 😉

    It was good to see you, as always. Hold on….

  6. calvininjax says:

    No matter how pleasant the surroundings, a hospital visit in those circumstances is still numbing. My thoughts are with you and your mum.

    I would be hard pushed to think of a better person to visit with than OS after such a harrowing ordeal. And I have never even met him in person. But, as you say, he is wise and he is a good un.

  7. Stephen Foster says:

    That all seems about right to me Nick. I don’t feel awkward with Mum, but I have to watch for my ‘jokes’ which are really not working.

    I txted Graham to find out how Stoke were doing. Ahem: PULIS OUT : )

  8. Stephen Foster says:

    I’m ashamed of you that you made me go back to Shaffers to pay after I did that runner now the place is closed down anyway.

    You owe me £400.

  9. bumble says:

    love you bro XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

  10. George S says:

    Our best wishes for your mum and yourself, SF. Hospitals are pretty well the dark nights of the soul, even to visit, even more to visit one so close to you.

  11. Stephen Foster says:

    You are right about that George; I think they’re hard to imagine, but being there that brings it home. Thanks for your wishes x

  12. Stephen Foster says:

    Give us a call or send a mail bro x

  13. OS says:

    >I’m ashamed of you that you made me go back to Shaffers to pay after I did that runner now the place is closed down anyway.

    I owe you nowt!

    I did that purely out of self interest. You live in Norwich: I live three doors away.

    Anyway… what’s with all this ‘sweet’ stuff? Folks usually visit here with a peg on their noses to stem the smell of stale urine. You’ve put me off now.

    Mum will be ok now you’ve, finally, managed to give her my Xmas present. Those pear drops will take away the awful anasthetic smell of them oxygen masks. She’ll be ok in a short while… she’s going through a bad patch because of the chemo, as well as feeling down because of her situation. Hopefully, she’ll get through this awful patch, and then be able to spend some quality time with you again. That’s the object of it, even thought, at times, one wonders whether it’s worth it. Well, just to spend a few extra weeks with you ‘guys’, even though you can’t be there 24/7, is most definitely worth it… and Mum knows that. So, if she’s trying to keep her head above the parapet, so can you.

    Hey, Mum… I hope you feel better soon. Love from OS. XXXXX

  14. OS says:

    Right… I know its Mum that’s poorly, but other people matter, too. So, this is for winger and Bumble Marciano and that Ginger Haired Wench. So, you three, while you’re going through this difficult time in your lives, put your ethernet arms around each other, and you will feel better for it. Love, singular, can fester. Love, shared, is all-healing, and you’ll get through anything if you don’t hold it back. Trust me… I’ve been there, a number of times. 😉

  15. markelt says:

    Maybe so, but in my experience it’s best to take your own coffee rather than drink his out of a recycled plant pot or whatever he can rustle up.

  16. bumble says:

    see you soon os and thanks alot (a tearfull me again) XX

  17. OS says:

    BM… your bro, winger, is my adopted son, and his hurt is my hurt, which (fortunately or unfortunately, depending who you are) draws you into the equation, along with that ginger haired sister with the fat belly, of yours. Although I’m a smelly old fart, I’m also a communal leaning post with strong foundations. And because I’m old, I know exactly what your mummy will want. She bred you three, and there’s nothing will please her more than knowing she leaves behind a legacy of love between you. That’s proper family stuff. No need to be morbid at this time, but that doesn’t preclude any of you from sharing your sadness, which I know, right now, you will all be stoically bearing. As are we all who care for your Mum. I love that devilish twinkle in her eyes. It tells me that she’s a rogue, as well as a Stokie. Add the two together, and it spells trouble. So, I’ll find you a vid which I think best represents how I see her, which is a lady who is unconventional, to say the least. Hold on…

    Got it. Hope it plays. This will bring a grin to your misty eyes. 😉

    OS. XX

  18. Stephen Foster says:

    They look like plant pots but actewally they’re just mugs that have never been washed.

  19. markelt says:

    I knew Sigur ‘Bloody’ Ros would make an appearance. 🙂

  20. OS says:

    Of course! I’ve got Mum down as the one in the black and white woolly hat. Now, all we need is 3 points tomorrer, and Mum, while she’s sucking on one of her peardrops, will feel much better. 😉

  21. Daftburger says:

    I’ve only been gone a week and see what happens. Pull yersens tegether men!

    Pulis Out!

  22. OS says:

    >I’ve only been gone a week and see what happens. Yes… Pulis put out his worst side at L’pool on the basis that we can’t play 3 games in a week. I wish I had some of the Prem Pansies down the pit with me. They dunner know what hard work is.

    Keep out of lumber, you!

    Chow (mane). 🙂

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