Netta, CRM's mother and my mother-in-law, died peacefully and without pain early this morning in St Vincent's Hospital, the local hospital in Kingussie.
Back in 2013 Netta had an operation for bowel cancer, which gave her nearly five more years of life. Unfortunately her cancer returned at the end of 2017. Aged 93 Netta decided that she did not want to undergo any treatment other than pain control. She bore her illness with fortitude and dignity remaining cheerful, even though at times Netta was clearly in pain. Always keen to be fully alert she was at times reluctant to take her painkillers, although Netta never refused her small evening glass of Croft Original Sherry – her true 'medicine'!
Netta had been admitted to St Vincent's on Monday 26th March when she became very agitated. The doctor's advice was that she was unlikely to survive. Remarkably by the following morning she was sitting up in bed and fully alert. This continued through the rest of the week and into the morning of Monday 2nd April.
Netta had a great thirst for life. She loved meeting and chatting to people. It was typical that last Monday, her last morning of consciousness, she was busy writing and making phone calls – telling her friends that she was going home on Tuesday afternoon. Her last letter was to her 99-year-old friend Edna, who will be 100 in August.
Sadly she never got home. Around Monday lunchtime she took a turn for the worse and had to be put on a pump to contain the pain. This medication put her into a deep sleep from which she never emerged.
Netta was a famous baker – her pancakes were legendary. She always had a remarkable pin-sharp memory for people and events.
She received remarkable and devoted care from the Highland NHS – from the community nurses – Karen, Mary, Dawn, Caroline and others, her doctor – Mary Cauldbeck, and the staff at St Vincent's Hospital, Kingussie.
My slip on black ice on 2nd January of this year that separated my quads from my left knee proved to be fortuitous. It would have been impossibly painful to be driven back to London after my operation at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness to reattach my quads. It was also evident that Netta, always fiercely independent, now needed some support, so we stayed on at Newtonmore. It has been a great privilege for Carole and I to help support Netta during her final months.
Netta is survived by her four children – Carole, Douglas, Anne and Tom – and a large extended family including four grandchildren and a great grandchild.
The funeral will be held on Tuesday 17th April at Saint Bride's Church, Glen Road, Newtonmore, PH20 1DT at 3pm. Family flowers only please.
Netta on the beach @Colonsay for Ruaridh and Susie's wedding
April 2016 (foto: CRM)
Isabel, Charlie, Netta and Carole
Pink and purple were her favourite colours
Netta with her favourite hat
Netta & Carole:
Netta's last outing: 1st April 2018
The first Sunday in April was warm and sunny – a welcome change from the long winter. It was warm enough to Netta to go out in her wheelchair with her son, Tom, and his daughter, Zoe.