Well that all went well. Juliet was duly delivered to us shortly after 2pm, in the hospice’s little red “popemobile” (red??).
Earlier, myself and the girls had realized that the supplied metal ramps weren’t going to do the job – still too many inches-high barriers to be overcome. So we not only came up with a re-design, but tested it several times, with the girls playing the part of crash-test dummies in a wheelchair. When I eventually pushed J up the ramps, it all worked just fine.
Juliet was accompanied by Claire, one of the nurses. We sat out in the garden for a while – a lovely day – then indoors. For a couple of days J has been trying to describe something she’s kept for Alice, we thought at first it was a greetings card, but now think it may be a small toy animal of some kind. She resorted to drawing a picture – I thought it might be her Piglet brooch that I bought her many years ago, when Lucy was our little “piglet” – but no. After a while she gets too frustrated trying to explain and gives up. We’ll get there in the end.
I read J a letter from her best friend, Jane. I’d asked her to write with as many memories of their childhood as she could. There was a lot of stuff I didn’t know about. J remembered some of it, not all, quite normal. Several of the stories made us all laugh, as they should. Jane lives in Germany now and hasn’t seen Juliet for several years; this was a super way to show her friendship.
J was collected at 5 and the reverse-wheelchair down the ramp went fine. I then went and slept on the bed for an hour, having been up early mowing, hedge-cutting and generally being very up-tight about preparations for the visit. But all OK now.
A letter came through the door inviting us to a neighbour’s pre-wedding drinks for their youngest daughter, on 4 August. That seems a long time away. The next milestones for Juliet to reach are Lucy’s driving test next week and both girls’ exam results in mid-August.