Tue 2nd May 2017 – I got a phone call at work from a friend who had just visited Mom & Dad – “Your Mom was saying strange things and was not herself, I think you should visit”, said Keith Griffiths. I phoned sister Sheila (who phoned other sister Barbara) and drove to Maritzburg.
Mom was physically fine, but a bit confused and – tragically – with marked short-term memory loss. Trying hard to be alright she asked me “How’s Trish?” Trish who died six years ago. Dear old Mom has had a probable TIA leading to sudden short-term memory loss. Tragic, she has always been so sharp and organised. Luckily her longterm memory and sharp sense of humour is unaffected.
Probably a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or “mini stroke”.
A TIA is caused by a temporary disruption in the blood supply to part of the brain. The disruption in blood supply results in a lack of oxygen. This can cause sudden symptoms similar to a stroke, such as speech and visual disturbance, and numbness or weakness in the face, arms and legs. However, a TIA doesn’t last as long as a stroke. The effects often only last for a few minutes or hours and fully resolve within 24 hours.
But Mom’s memory loss is still apparent a week later.
Phoned them this morning
Dad says he told Mom to stay in bed till the sun came up but she didn’t. He wants her to see an audiologist as she doesn’t listen! (He’s as deaf as a post and her hearing is great, making the joke all the better).
Mom says she prays for Tom n Jessie every day that they’ll understand their lessons and pass their tests.
I asked her if that wasn’t cheating? Mary Methodist hosed herself. But slightly cautiously – she was raised not to tempt fate.
From Sheila: Hi Everyone – I’m in the middle of a massive clean-up and came across this – on the back is written: Marjory, Pat & Peggy – Harrismith 1938 – Signed DC Reed
So I phoned Mum for more info:
Marjory was Farquhar – her younger sister was Dossie, who was Mum’s great mate – Dossie lives in an old age home in Bethlehem and she and Mum chat quite often.
Pat was Bland, Mom’s older sister.
Peggy was Hastings – Michael’s sister – she had a lovely sense of humour – she had 3 kids and then her husband walked out on her – she came back to Harrismith and married Bert Starkey – her kids were Barbara, Stuart and 1 other.
The Hastings were leaving Harrismith! Michael Hastings to Mary Swanepoel as they were leaving Harrismith in 1964: “There’s been a Hastings in Harrismith since 1066 and now we’re leaving.”
The “DC Reed” Mum thinks was Peggy’s cousin Daphne, whom they called Dodo – Mum says she was lovely and they all loved her.
It’s really a gorgeous pic and Pat looks so full of fun and nonsense, which she usually was!
So now you know. Love Sheila
One day, before Mum started school, Brenda Longbottom came to play. She lived across the road in Stuart Street and was 18 months older. Mum very proudly told Brenda about a book she was reading – all about a little girl called Lucky.
When Brenda saw the book she told Mum in a withering tone that the little girl’s name was Lucy, pronounced Loosie, not Lucky! Mum was devastated.
Years later I was also teased for getting hard and soft ‘c”s mixed when I said SirSumFurr-ence for circumference. Hey, we read phonetically ‘by our own selves’, so this happens!
Mum says Barnie Neveling had a rather caustic tongue at times – it was he who told Mum that Frank Bland’s brother – either Bobby or Bertie – had committed suicide – although Mum used the words “taken his own life” – he was a pharmacist and couldn’t live with his asthma any longer – Granny Bland spoke of it as an accidental overdose. Mum didn’t think it was necessary for Barnie to tell her that.
One of Granny Bland’s other sons, Alex, who was the Royal Hotel barman, played the piano – he cut his finger and it couldn’t straighten properly, so a friend offered to pay for the op to straighten it – Dr Reitz did the op and Alex died on the operating table.
One of his favourite pieces was Rachmaninoff’s Prelude – Mum couldn’t remember the key – she sang a bit of it to me – looked it up and I think it was G Minor (the other one was C Sharp Minor) – Mum says that whenever it was played on the radio, they had to switch the radio off because it made Granny Bland too sad.
Today (June 2020) Mum has so many jerseys on that Sister Rose asked if she was going to the North Pole.
She asked what Mexico’s biggest volcano was – for the crossword – I looked it up while we were chatting – Popocatepetl – I’ve never heard of it – but Mum knew / remembered it! She had asked a friend who was going to her cottage to look it up on her computer – but now, when this friend comes back with the answer – Mum will know it already – she liked that!