Mum had a stroke in 2001-ish. She lost most of her mobility, and speech. But with help, she regained some of her speech and we were able to have a reasonable conversation with her. Dad looked after her at home for several years, until it became too difficult for him. Anita and I were worried about him having an accident of some kind and mum being at home alone, and not knowing what had happened. It was decided mum should go into a nursing home. She lived in two different ones. The second one was within walking distance of the family at home, and when the weather was nice, dad was able to take her home in her wheelchair so she could spend the afternoon in the sun lounge looking out at her garden.
That year was mum and dad's 60th wedding anniversary. It was a beautiful day, so we had a tea party for them. Anita, me, Chris, Jonathan, Rachel, Stuart, Corinne, Danny and Benjamin all enjoyed ourselves and from the big smile on mum's face, so did she.
In July 2010 dad lost his only surviving brother, Jack. He had a heart attack and died instantly. It was a shock. Then later that month mum had another stroke. A brain scan showed the damage from the first stroke had damaged three quarters of her brain, the second one took most of what was left. She was in pain, and eventually became bedridden. Dad visited every day, but of course he could no longer take her home.
She lingered for a few months more, getting steadily worse. She wouldn't eat, so was put on Fortisip. Eventually she couldn't even manage that. On November 10th she turned 80 - three days later she died, with dad and Anita sitting by her bed. Chris and I had been to see her that morning.
The funeral was at Bramcote Crematorium. A beautiful service (I chose the music). Elgar's Nimrod to walk into, 3 hymns and Amazing Grace (music only as dad doesn't like the words) to walk out to. Well we had to have that one, didn't we. It took place on 26th November. Three days later was dad's 80th birthday. He was back at the crematorium as one of his neighbours had died and the family invited him to the funeral. He collected up the cards from the flowers our family had arranged for mum. Three deaths and three funerals in less than 6 months!!
Dad's still with us thank goodness, although he has arthritis in his knees and shoulders and is on steroids. Anita takes him shopping once a week, as we persuaded him to give up driving shortly after mum's death. He'll be 85 this year, I don't think he's really happy, but he does his best.