It’s nearly Christmas!

Dec 18, 2023 | 13 comments


About 10 days ago

This picture was taken about 10 days ago

Tracey is moving along her journey and some of it is extremely painful to watch. We are hoping she will make Christmas as she loves it so much. If I could do it for her I would, I think many parents would for their children.

I’m stressed to the max and many things make me cry. I was driving home from a visit recently when a song we sing at the choir I go to came on the radio, I started singing along, when Bam, one of the lyrics hit home and I was rapidly blinking back tears. Can’t cry when you’re driving!

I am not going to many of the social things I do right now. Partly because I no longer have time as I’m spending so much time at my daughters. But also because I am introverted. This doesn’t mean I am shy or lacking in confidence. It means that social occasions use up emotional and physical energy, with quiet time providing the necessary recharge – the complete opposite of you lively extroverts out there. I simply don’t have any energy of either sort to spare at the moment.

This week

Saturday week, Tracey was taken into the local hospice, St Wilfred’s. After a slow start, they have got her pain firmly under control and I haven’t seen her this comfortable for several weeks. She is still nauseous much of the time, but that too is getting more under control.

I spend all day, every day, at the hospice with her now and am doing little else. These last few months with her have been both lovely and horrible. We have sung Abba songs, watched our favourite films (Blue Brothers, hers, and It’s A Wonderful Life, mine) and seen some beautiful ballet together, with me perched on the end of her bed. We’ve sat in the sun under her gazebo, been blown along the front in the rain (she loves the wind and rain) and we’ve breakfasted at The Beach Deck. I treasure the very special conversations we’ve shared too.


Tracey had a good day today. She is very tired, but was bright and smiley. It’s just family visiting now, as too many visitors tire her out very quickly.

A beautiful jet black lurcher called Jessie visited from the next door room this morning. There are gardens all round the hospice, and Jessie was sniffing round the enclosed courtyard that Tracey’s room opens on to. Tracey is always hot and the door is often open, or the air conditioning is on, set to 16 degrees, while I sit with a thick fleece on, with the collar turned up and the zip done right up to my chin! In this picture, as you can see, I’ve got my coat on!  Anyway, Jessie wandered in for a look around and enjoyed several little bits of biscuit. Her owner soon found her and sat with us for a chat for several minutes which was nice. I’m under instructions to bring small cubes of cheese for her for a visit tomorrow!

All oral meds have been stopped now with some transferred to the syringe driver. Tracey managed quite a few drinks through the day, a few sips each time. They stayed down too. She is comfortable and enjoying all the attention lavished on her by the wonderful staff, and her family visitors!

There is a choir concert at 6-8pm at the hospice this evening and she will be pushed in her bed along the cafe area to enjoy it. She won’t be able to sing along as she can only whisper now. There is always something going on at the hospice. They have a reasonable sized car park, but it’s often a squeeze to get in. Many people come for coffee and cake at the cafe, and the delicious lunches too, so there are always lots of cars parked, everywhere!

The picture is of her brother-in-law who came dressed as a penguin today! He’s threatening to come dressed in something different every day, yesterday was a lurid Christmas suit, a la Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen! There is every variety of Christmas jumper being worn by staff and visitors. Most rooms have some kind of Christmas decoration, and the gardener has made some really beautiful decorations displayed around the place. The ‘flower lady’ came in the room today with a small flower arrangement for Tracey, They truly do do everything they can to make the end of a life as joyful as it can be.

Tracey is still hoping to make Christmas Day, and she just might make it!







  1. Kathy Stairs

    I’ve been thinking of you since I read your last post. Tracey looks comfortable with a gorgeous smile on her face surrounded by her loved ones..
    Sending you all a big hug. My thoughts are with you and remember you don’t have to know someone to be thinking of them. xxx

  2. Carol

    I don’t know how you’re still standing, I lost my best friend many years ago now, she was 39 and the mother of two quite young children, I was in bits thinking about her and about her little ones, but she told me it was important to make memories for the children, for their future, to know that she always loved them to the moon and back and would always live on in their hearts. Oh my this is taking me right back. You’re being incredibly brave but are making memories for those who are left behind and are devastated, who will hold on to Tracey’s memories forever, stand firm in your love for her and those around her and she will always be with you in your hearts, god bless Lesley xxxxx

  3. Lesley

    Thinking of you all & sending you very best wishes. Hope Tracey is still comfortable & I’m sure having family around will be helping her . Thanks for all your recipes & continuing to share them . I’m sure your blog will be helping others too.

  4. Margaret

    I have been thinking about you lots. Thank you for this post. It is lovely to see the smiles on your faces. Feel the love and hugs from your friends on here that you have never met.

  5. Caroline Brooks

    Lesley, I hope with all my heart Tracey gets to have a wonderful Christmas. I can’t imagine what you are all going through as a family. It moves me to tears each time I read one of your updates.

    I think you’re an amazing woman to take all of us on the journey with you, when I’m sure you have lots of other things to do. Sending lots of love and hugs. xx

  6. Naomi Claxton

    Sending love and strength to you and your family, and praying you get your Christmas together x

  7. Thrifty Lesley

    Thanks Sue. He’s one of those people who really knows how to have fun !

  8. Sue

    Thinking of you all every day. The penguin must have brought a real smile to all your faces … what a guy. Sending lots of love to you, your daughter and all the family. ❤️

  9. Nicki

    Lesley, I was reading this with tears in my eyes. Such precious memories you’re making that will be treasured forever. Thank you for sharing these moments with us. I feel so honoured and humbled to follow your and Tracey’s time together. Wishing you love and peace x

  10. Val

    I’m just a reader of your blog who loves your writing and your recipes, but I’m also a mother of 3 grown-up children. My heart and hugs go out to you and your daughter. It’s lovely to see your smiles and read about all your ‘treats’. Thank you for sharing this and know that people you don’t know are thinking of you at this time. Xxx

  11. Fiona

    Sending you, Tracey and all your family my very best wishes as you travel this journey together. I hope Tracey remains as comfortable as is possible and that you are taking as much care of yourself as you can. My thoughts are with you. X

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