I suppose it's because I have so much time on my hands these days, that all these memories come flooding back to me.
We were living up north at the time and I was working in the ambulance service and had just finished my ten day period of on call for the accident and emergency cover. The only reason I mention that is because the sleep I used to get when I was not on call was a really deep sleep, as when you are on call you tend to be expecting the call out at any time of the night. In fact, it was quite common for us to be called out up to three times a night, which can really tire you out when you have to be up early to start the normal shift at eight in the morning.
Of course being called out so often can also have an effect on your wife or husband, as they also get woken up when the beeper goes off, and they can get a bit moody if you have to go right when you are about to have a meal, which goes straight into the bin, as a call out usually meat us being away for at least two hours. I even used to joke about it, that the beeper had a hidden camera and as soon as you sat down to eat, or try to go for a shower, it would go off, but of course we all know that was not the case.
I must admit though, that towards the end of your ten day and night period, you could actually get a bit confused, and on one occasion I came into our bedroom and my wife asked if that was me going out again, or coming back in? I had to check the beeper, as to tell the truth I had forgotten if I was coming back home, or going out again. That might sound a bit far fetched, but if you are someone who has done such shifts, you will understand.
Anyway, I am digressing form the subject here, as I started off to explain as to why I was in such a deep sleep, and got carried away. My wife was learning to drive at the time, and according to her instructor, was doing very well, in fact he said that she was only a couple of lessons from taking her driving test. This would mean a great deal to her at the time, as she wanted so much to be able to drive.
We used to drive down south to central Scotland, to see her family, as they all lived there, including the three children from her first marriage, and all of her thirteen brothers and sisters and of course her Mother, who she was really close to. I liked her very much as well, as she had such a positive attitude to life, and full of fun, yet direct in a way. She once pulled me aside at a family do, when my wife and I first got together, and told me that she thought that I would be good for her daughter, and that she trusted me to take good care of her. That meant quite a lot to me at the time, as I was relieved that she thought that much of me, and that I had her trust.
Out of the blue one night, I came home to find my wife crying, she was terribly upset, and told me that she had just received a call telling her that her Mother had died. It was a sudden death, caused by a heart attack; of course we had to drive down south straight away so that the whole family could be together. Even though I had just finished my ten day period of being on call, and I was feeling a bit tired. It was still a trip we had to make. There then followed a sad time, where my wife just couldn’t cope, she gave up her driving lessons, as her confidence had totally gone.
A few weeks later after the funeral, we were back up north and I just finished yet another fourteen days of on call, I had to four extra nights to cover a colleague who was off sick. I was so glad to get to bed that night as I felt really tired. In the early hours of the morning, while I was still half asleep and very groggy, I woke up with the feeling that someone was sitting on my feet, and despite my efforts to do so, I just could not move them. Still feeling dozy, I could hear my wife talking, while she was sitting up in bed, with her arms outstretched, and I could hear that was having a conversation with someone, as she appeared to be answering questions. I must have fell back into my deep sleep, and put it out of my mind, telling myself it was just a dream, yes, I was just dreaming.
As I had the following day off, my wife let me sleep a bit longer, which I must have been in dire need of, as it was eleven in the morning when I eventually woke up, and made my down stairs. While I was having a welcome cup of tea, I asked my wife if she had sitting on my feet during the night, she went all quiet, and asked me why I should ask that question. She went on to tell me that her Mother had come to her during the night, and that she was sat up in bed giving her a cuddle and talking to her.
Then this really strange feeling came over me, as I pieced together all the events that I could remember from when I thought I was dreaming. My wife then went on to tell me that her Mother came to her in the night, sat on the bottom of the bed, and gave her a cuddle while talking to her, and that it wasn’t a dream to her, as she was wide awake at the time, and even saw me trying to move my legs. My wife went on to tell me that her Mothers visit lasted quite some time, and that it seemed to her that they talked for hours through the night, about life in general and how much of an effect her Mother’s death had on her, and that she should get on with her life, as her Mother was happy where she was, and wanted her to be the same.
The whole event changed my wife’s attitude to life in general, she got her confidence back and she seemed to be more settled in her mind. She never did go back to her driving lessons, but that was such a minor thing compared to how much of an effect that night had on her. For me, well for me the whole event had an effect that I find really difficult to explain to other people, but at least I know my wife believes me, which is more than can be said of the small amount of friends that I have shared this story with. As a matter of interest it is the anniversary of my Mother in laws birthday tomorrow the seventh of December.