wings and things


on December 16, 2015

I am interrupting my blog break with a post because of an incident that has shaken me.

Two days ago, Anthony’s brother, J, a couple of lovely nephews, and Ants’ oldest friend, all convened at the nursing home. I didn’t realise at first that this had been arranged by J.- a fantastic gesture except that he forgot to invite Ming and me.

Nevertheless, I was delighted, despite the fact that J’s instructions were to have Anthony outside. The carers couldn’t lift Ants out of his armchair and they were about to get the hoist when the two nephews managed to get him into the wheelchair. I decided then that I would have to go with the flow so I wheeled Ants outside.

He was cold, uncomfortable, un-talked to (but talked about rather wonderfully by the nephews and friend); I sat right next to him and shared some champagne with him until it became obvious that he needed to get back to his room.

I came home, still delighted. It hadn’t been a perfect afternoon but it was better than nothing and I was very grateful for the presence of P. the nephew who visits Ants every weekend. He is so loyal and kind; he is a gift to Ants, Ming and me because of his sincerity and his love for Anthony.

The next day, another nephew (one who regularly visits Ants despite living 200 kms away), rang me to ask what was going on. I didn’t understand the question so he said that J. had rung various family members to come for drinks at the nursing home to say goodbye. I told him that J. and a couple of people had turned up but I hadn’t known why.

Apparently J. had decided to tell all of the family (except Ming and me) that Anthony was at death’s door. When I rang and confronted him, he explained that he just wanted to say goodbye.

“Try saying hello,” I said.

70 responses to “Hello!

  1. How extremely inconsiderate of this person. I’m sorry that you and Ming had to go through that.
    Love and hugs, Marianne xx

  2. lensgirl53 says:

    Oh MY goodness. YES, say “Hello!” Perhaps it is J. who is leaving?

  3. What an extremely odd thing to do. You must have been most disconcerted and offended.

  4. Oh man, I’m sorry to read this and hope you’re okay by the time you read this from me. I love your response, “Try saying hello.” So true, for all we know Ants could outlive them all. Sending love. ❤

  5. Wow, that was a bit awkward. I am sending you a whole bunch of hugs Jules xxoooooooo

  6. People are just plain weird sometimes–they get something into their head and go with it without thinking. I am sorry this happened to you–but you had the perfect response!

  7. letstalkaboutfamily says:

    Julie, I’m sorry your friends surprised you with their “good intentions”. I am reminded though about 2 friends who had their own “goodbye parties” when they learned they were terminally ill and progressing to the point where they wouldn’t be able to communicate soon. These incidents were about 10 years apart, and the men didn’t know each other, but both decided to have a party of all their friends while they were still able. My son attended one. I attended the other. The parties included all the friends they kept in touch with over a lifetime. It felt, as my son said, “Like D was having his own wake”. But on the other hand, he was able to be there when his friends all said so many good things about him, shared pictures and stories, etc.

    I feel like this is what J was trying to do. He failed though in that he should have consulted you and Ants and Ming right at the start, before making any plans, to make sure it fit your own needs and desires. I am sorry they sprung that on you as it was as if they were making decisions for you and Ants. I hope you can get past that and still have friends over for Ants as much as he is able to visit with them. Ants seems like such a social person, I think he must enjoy the visits, but not if they toss him from his own room! A frank discussion with J might be helpful at this point.

    Then get back to your “break”. You need it!

  8. susanpoozan says:

    Well, what a cheek! You are a true trooper to have coped.

  9. KDKH says:

    Isn’t this the brother that doesn’t like you and thought he was going to get the farm? If so, any civil interaction with Ants is better than none, I guess. Weird bunch, but any time with family is good for Ants at this point, isn’t it? Who knows, maybe they can have a repeat get-together every year! Every month, week, or day might be better, but sometimes you have to take what you can get. No matter the motivation by his brother, did Ants enjoy it?

    • jmgoyder says:

      Ants was quiet that day and uncomfortable in the wheelchair. It was very enjoyable at the time and I had fun. Discovering the context the next day was devastating and a shock. Oh well.

      • KDKH says:

        I know. I’m sorry they were so insensitive and ignorant. I don’t think they understand true love or care about your feelings. What turds!

  10. misifusa says:

    Such a poignant story that I am grateful that you shared. I am sorry that you were not included and that it was a ‘goodbye’ party which makes no sense since Ants is still here. Perhaps in observer mode you can see that they were trying to all be there for you and Ants and Ming. I’ve found that people don’t always think before doing or saying. I’m sending you a heartfelt hug as always. I am proud of you for going with the flow. xo

  11. How strange – what an odd thing to do, and not to mention it to you is even odder. Perhaps the intention was good, and a message had got confused along the way. Hope you enjoy your break.

  12. dogdaz says:

    Though they appear to have good intentions, it was rude and inconsiderate to you and Anthony. You have every right to be put out by the well meaning, but ill planned, actions of these people. I love your continued attitude, and yes, hello would have been a much better way to have a reunion. Enjoy your break. – Lorian of DogDaz

  13. ksbeth says:

    oh, i’m so sorry this happened this way. i think some people, especially those who don’t visit often, don’t understand what is happening and feel an urgent need to say their goodbyes, not really getting the reality of the situation. i don’t feel they did it to be cruel, just were unsure how to handle the situation properly.

  14. Judy says:

    Sometimes people simply say the wrong thing. It is awkward and uncomfortable – your response was perfect. I hope you’re able to forgive him – actions are important, even moreso than words. With forgiveness, comes freedom. I like to look at intentions and it doesn’t sound as if he wanted to hurt you purposefully. No one is more aware of Anthony’s decline than you.
    I remember everyone talking “around” my mom with her dementia. I did find out one day, that she heard and understand a lot of things I didn’t thing she did. That was a lesson for me.
    So sorry, Julie. The painful reality of his decline is a daily struggle for you. And of course, those better days appear to bring hopefulness. With the upcoming holidays – I wish you many more of those!

    • jmgoyder says:

      I’ve had to forgive him so many times now over the years that it is like second nature.

      • Judy says:

        Sounds like he has a social disorder. My middle brother is like that – totally clueless about his hurtful remarks. Tough stuff. What we both need is more compassion and it doesn’t come from certain people!

  15. Oh my Julie, the longer I live the harder it is to figure people out. This reminds me of the time my cousin referred to my mother, who had Alzheimer’s at the time, as being “no longer with us.” To say the least, my sister and I were offended. so who is actually “nuts”? 🙄

  16. Anonymous says:

    😢 omg i cant put it into words on how i feel Julie except shocked .

  17. Vicki says:

    My goodness, Julie.

    What a weird thing to do….I mean say, that Ant’s was at death’s door. Perhaps that was meant to be some sort of way to ensure people came (at this busy time of year)?

    While his intentions might have been heartfelt in having a little party for Anthony, next time I hope he rings you first.

    I think you can only move on (despite the shock).

    We all have different ways of showing affection and/or love, but even in my own life, certain family members have the weirdest idea of what Love is.

    It’s about being there…………unconditionally!

  18. He should had told you that he was planning a “goodbye” party, but who knows Anthony may be around for a few more years so saying “goodbye” might have been jumping the gun a bit.

  19. tootlepedal says:

    A rather unsettling experience for you. You did well to keep calm.

  20. Anonymous says:


  21. Rhonda says:

    Damn! I hate to be blunt…but yes!!! How about a hello first? You don’t need to go through episodes like that Jules…and God bless ’em, but they need to know you are the first point of contact from now on! I know they love Ants, and love you too…but they are children in the world of PD…You are the boss and they need to know it. Love them, but set them straight my friend. Meantime…back to your break…you’re WELL deserved break. Love you Jules

  22. I’m sitting at home reading this thinking “what the hell???” and I don’t have anything better to say!

  23. You said it perfectly about why not saying hello. I won’t say anymore about my opinion of J. for doing that … I’m so sorry, Julie. Love, Gloria

  24. Lynda says:

    Julie, I have read this three times and I am boggled! How sad that he handled it the way he did. The only thing that comes to mind is that he, J, can’t handle Anthony’s situation and needed to see him one last time for his own sake?
    Love you,

  25. Tiny says:

    It is so sad you and Ming had to go through this. It’s not always obvious why someone would do something like this. I hope you feel better soon. XX

  26. Ann Koplow says:

    Beautiful response from you, Julie. I am sending love and hope out to you and yours during this difficult time. ❤ xxoo

  27. wow i want to smoke whatever that guy is smoking! i am so sorry you and ming have gone through this. it is so ridiculous. all i can say is you are amazing!! their ignorance must be worthy of professional investigation. i am just so sorry after all you have been though. sending you love and healing thoughts xxx

  28. aFrankAngle says:

    Very sad … good intentions, but still sad.I hope you are enjoying your break … more important,may the Christmas season bring your comfort and joy.

  29. love your last line Jules xx

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