After deliberating for a couple of days, this morning I decided to bite the bullet and go and see her in hospital. As I set off from the house this morning I had no idea what the day would bring, how she would receive me, IF she would receive me, whether I would actually walk up to her bed or even if she would know who I was. I set off knowing I could turn around at any point if I changed my mind.
My journey was seamless and I arrived at London Bridge Station a little before 10.00am I walked out of the station and was greeted by a torrential downpour, that wouldn't have been out of place in a film about Noah's Ark; the heavens were truly open and I hoped it wasn't a bad omen of things to come. With only a couple of minutes swim, sorry walk, to the hospital, I found myself standing in the entrance to Guys Hospital a little dazed, a lot wet and with a feeling of dred in my stomach, a thousand different scenarios imagined in my mind. What would I say to her? What would she say to me? Would she know who I was? Would she tell me to go away?Would she still be alive?
I joined a very queue for a hot drink, glad for the distraction of people muttering to themselves and each other that they had been queuing for too long and the staff were slow. As I got to the counter I thought I'll take her a drink too, as a kind of ice breaker and then I realised that I didn't know if she drank tea or coffee, had milk or even drank hot drinks, so I just ordered myself a peppermint tea to ease my nervous stomach.
I cant walk in empty handed, I thought, that's thoughtless at best and rude at worst, so I popped into the shop and picked up a variety of magazines, mints and sweets that I didn't know if she would like or could even have but at least I wasn't empty handed.
I made my way up to the ward knowing I was still too early for visiting hours, secretly hoping they would turn me away, they buzzed me straight in. Bugger I'd have to go through with it now. The nurse asked who I was visiting and I gave them her name 'Yes of course you can see her' the Nurse said 'can I ask if you are related?' 'Yes' I said 'I'm her Daughter' 'Ah I thought so she said, you look alike' I took a big gulp, the saliva in my mouth had seemed to have disappeared 'She doesn't know I am coming, I don't know if she will even know who I am' 'Don't worry dear, I'll take you to her now' said the Nurse.
I felt the speed of by breathing and my apprehension increase as we walked through the ward, each step harder than the one before, my feet dragging like I was walking through treacle or quicksand. Bloody hell, this was really happening I thought. The blue curtain to her bed by the window was closed as we approached, I felt a shiver down my shine as the Nurse drew the curtain and I took in a deep breath in, so to prepare myself for what I might see or how she might react. There was no going now, I'd come this far I had to see this through.....