I’ve felt sad the past few days for many reasons. One of them is because I’ve been thinking about my Mum. She will be 90 in a few days and I’m saddened that she won’t even know that she made 90. She was always so proud of how young she looked for her age and I so much wish her brain had travelled along with her but alas it didn’t.
I wish I could take a huge cake and put on a grand party for her as I feel she so very much deserves it. My Mum played a big part in helping me decide my future at a time I was in crisis. She stopped me from making a rash decision that would have ultimately ruined my life. I owe her wisdom and common sense to the happiness I have today. Her non-judgemental views and brave insight gave me the confidence to step into the unknown and take a huge gamble. I was unable to see the importance of her role in this until much later and by then I had lost her to something more powerful. It’s called dementia. It tears your family apart and rips loved ones from you leaving you with a shell of who they once were. Mum will hold my hand and smile at me. We’ll laugh together and hug and I know she knows I am someone she loves but exactly why she loves me, she cannot remember.
I take comfort in the few photos I have. I remember everything she told me about her and my Dad but it’s never enough. I want more. I now feel an overwhelming desire to know everything about them. Finally and far too late I’ve seen them as people and not just Mum and Dad. The last time I saw her she held my hand and I chatted about books while she spoke incoherently about the past, stopping occasionally to smile at me. I was telling her about my books and reminding her of the books she had read, of which there were hundreds when she said,
My heart leapt. How much more had she heard and understood? My mother was an avid reader, a great knitter, a calm and wise woman whose gentle temperament calmed my own. I miss her terribly.
My mother never wanted this for herself. I know she would hate it. I hate that there is nothing I can do to change it. It’s how it is. But I do feel death would be better, not for me but for her. I hate you dementia. You’re cruel and worst of all you’re merciless because you’ll choose anyone, the educated, the uneducated, the rich, the poor, the creative and the uncreative. Death is kinder than you. Mum never saw herself as anything special. She wouldn’t know what to make of a blog post about her. But she was special. She was my Mum and you can’t get more special than that.
Happy 90th birthday Mum. I can’t say ‘I hope there will be many more’ because I know you wouldn’t have wanted them like this.
I love you. xxx