So Far Away

Back in December, I wrote a little about the situation with my Nan being in hospital back in England.  The situation was that she’d dislocated her shoulder a number of years ago, and the hospital cocked up the surgery, rendering her arm unusable forever.  She spent years trying to get by with the use of only one arm, and as she got older, started having these falls.  She lives by herself in a 2-storey house halfway across the planet, and my dad and I feel so useless.  Every day holds constant worry about her safety, and prayer for her protection. What would happen if she fell, and couldn’t get up to call anyone?  Well, in December, that happened.  She fell, injuring her other shoulder, and ended up in hospital right before Christmas.  My aunts and uncles weren’t in touch with her, my dad and I didn’t have their numbers, and she was alone, no visitors, until Christmas, when a good friend of mine went up on Christmas Day and absolutely made her day.

But the situation worsened.  Her blood pressure and potassium levels dropped drastically, so she was moved from the rehabilitation hospital into the general hospital – the one that had caused her disability in the first place.  They scheduled surgery on her other, functional (but injured) shoulder, for this past Monday, the day Sweet and I were away.  I worried the whole day, and returned to a phone call from my dad, saying over the weekend he’d heard from his stepsister that Nan had been pretty scared all weekend.  She was worried they were going to screw up her other shoulder – and if that happened, she’d never be able to look after herself again.  She was scared too because 13 years ago her husband had gone into hospital for surgery – and never came out.  And she was alone.

As my dad told me they’d postponed the surgery (her blood pressure was too low), I held my breath in a desperate effort to hold back the tears.  My Nan had basically raised me – as a child, my dad was working while my mum was in school, and I spent every day at her house, learning to bake, watching TV, making tea and crafts, and helping with her aviary full of budgies and quails.  I adored the little budgie we brought inside to keep, and Sparky lasted a good 8 years, every day calling out in Nan’s voice “cuppa tea, darling”, “where’s Emily”, and “who’s a good boy, boy, boy”.  So many years of joy were spent with my Nan, and it breaks my heart to think of her now, scared and alone in the world.

My dad decided to fly over to England.  He left yesterday, and I had an email this morning saying he’d arrived, and been to visit:

I have just come back from seeing Nan and, as you can imagine, she was overwhelmed.
She is not looking good and her memory is worse than last year but she is much the same as she was. She had some tears about dying and I had a very compassionate and serious conversation with her about coming out and maybe not being in the house. All very tearful but it ended very well.  More updates tomorrow.


My heart breaks at being stuck over there, completely useless to the woman who practically raised me and I love so dearly, in her time of need.  I’m glad my dad can be with her right now, and all I can do is pray for her.  That the surgery goes well and she comes out healed – but even if this is the case, she may still have falls, and the “talk” was one referring to the possibility of going into a care home.  If the surgery goes wrong like it did before, it would be the end of her ability to look after herself or do any of the things she takes joy in.  And the worst-case scenario – well, I can’t even bear to think about it.

If you could spare a moment today, for a thought or a prayer sent my Nan’s way, it would mean the world.  There’s only so much I can do from so far away, and right now I’m finding the situation pretty tough on top of my potential layoff in a few weeks.  I’m sorry to bring such a downer to your eyes this morning.  But you guys have always been here for me, and I thank you as ever for listening, and for your compassion.


  1. I’m so sorry to hear that this is the news, your family is in my thoughts and prayers, lady.

    I hope that she gets through the surgery perfectly and that maybe she’s okay with living around some other people rather than alone? I know it’s hard but it seems like she’s so far away from her family right now, maybe having some more friends around would help her heart. ❤

  2. My thoughts are definitely with you and your family, dear!

    My fiance’s Grandpa lives in an Assisted Living type home. It’s like a fancy apartment building and he seems SO happy there. I don’t remember his age, but he’s on the older side and seems so young. I have to hope that having all of those other people around keeps him that way.

    I wish you all the very best! Take care.

    1. You’re right, and I think it would definitely take a bit of adjusting but on top of the health stuff she’s just… lonely. I think being around other people would really help.

  3. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your Nan, Em. I know the conversation your Dad had with her must have been hard but hopefully the surgery goes well and she heals, and a move into a home may bring more joy and less loneliness into her life. I’ll keep her in my prayers.

  4. Oh Em, I feel for you and with all my family in Germany, I can so much relate to your situation. I am constantly worried that something will happen to my Grandpa, my great-aunt, my parents… it’s just awful to be so far away, not being able to do anything.

    I am keeping your Nan in my thoughts and I sure hope she’ll be ok. I am glad your Dad can be with her right now.

    You should send her a nice, long letter. That always cheers them up 🙂


    1. I should. She took up learning the internet and emailing when we moved here, and I haven’t been able to email her in months – I should send her a nice long letter. Thanks for the idea 🙂

  5. Your dad being there is a comfort, I’m sure. I hope your Nan comes out of this happy and healthy, and that the living situation she ends up in is the safest and best thing for her!

  6. I’ll say a little prayer for your Nan, and I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts during this tough time. I wish her the very best in her upcoming surgery. Despite how hard it must be for your dad, it’s a good thing that he’s able to be with her; that in itself must make you feel a little better knowing that she’s in good hands.

    1. It does mean the world that she has the person that means the most to her with her in her hour of need, definitely. My dad is going to email daily with updates, so fingers crossed. Thanks so much for your prayers x

  7. Praying for Nan, Dad and Em…this must be so hard for you as we know how much you love Nan and the impact she had on your life. I’m so grateful for the time she spent nurturing you, loving you and share her gifts with you!

    You are a delightful young lady because of the influence she has had on your life and I look forward to hearing more about Nan and the memories you both share…keep them alive Em!

    Cheers to Nan and a speedy recovery.

  8. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Em. I just hope that she gets better and am so happy that your dad can be there with her.

    Lots of love to you! xoxo

  9. My thoughts are definitely with you EJ. It’s terrible that you’re so far away as well, but what can you do? Keep your chin up for her, and let’s just hope for the best!

  10. I’m sorry that you’re going through this, lady. I will think some happy thoughts for your Nan today.
    About 5 years ago we had to move my Grandma into an assisted-living facility. She fought it for years but eventually relented. The last few years have been wonderful for her – she has gone from being a cranky old lady to being a social cranky old lady 🙂 Seriously though, a care home might be the best solution for your Nan. It might ease your concern and provide care and comfort for your Nan. It’s a win win situation 🙂
    Thinking of you, dear.

    1. Aww, I’m glad the experience was so good for your Grandma – I think my Nan is just scared and alone and the thought of such drastic change is a little much right now, but I really think too it might be the best for her. It would definitely ease our concern and give her some company, which would help lots. Thanks so much.

  11. You write so beautifully and this post is such a great post about your Nan… she’s in my prayers xo

  12. I will definitely say a prayer for her. It is so hard to be so far away – it makes a person feel so helpless. I am sure your grandma knows how much you wish you could be there, though. I am glad your dad was able to go over there to be with her!!

    1. I am too, and it’s so hard because my dad’s in the middle of job searching and has interviews before, during (phone) and after he gets back! Stressful time for both of us 😦 Thank you SO much for your prayers xxx

  13. Miss Emily Jane,

    I will dedicate a whole day’s worth of prayers for you! A whole week’s! As much as it takes. Stay strong lady, I know it is tough at the moment but God works in unexpected ways and he is the only one that really know how it is all supposed to play out. Just trust in him. I am always always here for you and if you ever want to talk you just let me know. I always love to hear from you by email and the book.


    Hannah Katy

    1. Thank you SO much, and you’re right, I’m trying to keep that in mind with everything that’s going on now, with my nan, with me and my job, with my dad… I trust that whatever happens is meant to for a reason. Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers.

  14. Of course I will say a prayer for your Nan (grandma in English slang?)

    I truly believe in the power of prayer and appealing to God. Recently, a friend of mine was diagnosed with lymphoma, and today, we found out that she is now cancer free. She never went through even a day of treatment yes. Was there prayer? OH YES. Was that the cause of the supposed “cure”? Well…no one truly knows but God…

    The best you can do for Nan is show your support in any way, maybe even telling her that you’ve got some friends praying 🙂

    1. I’ve seen things like this happen too, when so much praying has been done for somebody and it almost seems like a miracle (especially in the medical world), and that’s amazing about your friend. Thank you so much for your prayers!

  15. oh my dear lady, i am so sorry to hear you are going through this right now. my prayers are with you and your family.

    if you need to talk, please don’t hesitate to email me.

  16. I will definitely pray for your Nan. I felt helpless when my grandma was in a similar situation and I wasn’t nearly that far away. Such a difficult situation.

    There was on sentence in this post so full of British things that I didn’t know what was what. It made me laugh!

  17. See, this just breaks my heart. Your grandma will be in my thoughts today, and I’ll throw some good energy your way. xx I’m glad your dad could be there, and I’m also sure she knows how much you love her.

  18. My great-grandma used to raise me until she died right after my 4th birthday. I remember my mom telling me how much I loved spending time with her. While she was never sick and I was pretty young, I can only imagine how hard this must be for you.

    My thoughts are with your nan, you and your family. I am glad your dad was able to fly over there. I bet this means the world to her.

    1. It does, I’m sure. Every time we spoke over Christmas she said how badly she wished we could be over there, and I told her me and Sweet were planning on visiting in the summer. I just hope she’s recovered well enough for us to see her then. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts xx

  19. This post just breaks my heart for you and your family, and y’all are definitely in my thoughts and prayers.

    Please let me know if I can do anything. *hugs*

  20. I will be keeping your nan in my thoughts emily. I cant imagine being so far away from the people I love, how scary that might be, and I’m glad that your dad can be there with her now.

  21. Thank you so much, everyone, your thoughts, kinds words and prayers mean more than I could ever express. Huge hugs and thanks to everyone, I’ll post an update soon xxx

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