Thursday, January 22, 2009

thanks and ((hugs)) to my fellow bloggers

...thanks everyone for leaving me such supportive comments... I was going to say you don't know how much it means to me... but I know you do since we are in such similar circumstances. I shed a tear when I got back and read what you all had written...

I came home last week from my holidays and it was good to have the break. I went and stayed in nice seaside town near where mum is living for a week over Christmas. I decided that I wanted to splurge and get a place overlooking the water which I knew would be a real treat for mum and for me. I suppose what has been on my mind is that with this recent deterioration this might be the last Christmas we have together where she recognizes me.

I'm really glad that I did it. Our lounge room overlooked the water and lots of kangaroos were roaming around the front yard during the day as you can see below!

This mother and her joey were very friendly and came up on our verandah to peek at us through the window much to mums delight.

There were people swimming and canoeing and we could just sit in the cool and watch it all from our lounge. Mum loved it!

I took her to the beach twice.It was a bit difficult for her as she has put on a lot weight and get's puffed really fast. Also her walking is now a kind of 'swinging' from side to side and she can't turn on the spot anymore so we couldn't go anywhere uneven.

I think the hardest part was that she no longer recognises me when she see's me, or in a photo. It's all happening too fast...

She is only 71.

When I arrived she looked up, but she did not recognise me at all. Once I went over to her and hugged her and told her it was me she was really happy, so she still know she has a daughter and her name, just not that it's me. A few times when I was down there she commented that she hadn't known who I was the last visit when I took her on a boat trip but she thought I was a nice lady so had gone with me.

My mother always would save every little Christmas present she had and insist on saving them to open on Christmas day. This time it was so out of character, she saw the presents and wanted to open them all there and then! We opened a present every day we were there which was fun as every time she got so excited!

I also can see some more suspiciousness and irritability in her now. There is one nurse there that has been wonderful and now Mum has taken a real disliking to him, accusing him of taking her things and going through her wardrobe. There is a real cranky side to her coming out. She told me how:

"He comes in here every day and asks me if I've had my shower! What business is it if I've had a shower!"

You know I had a comment on my last post which I know was well intended but I deleted it as it really upset me. Basically the person was saying you need to keep your sense of humour about it all.

It's the classic example of feelings of grief or sadness making people uncomfortable so they want to 'jolly' peiople up and tell them to look on the bright side instead of just accepting them where they are. Feelings are OK, they are not good or bad, they just are and I will continue to share them here.

This is the only place I can share my real feelings for a lot of reasons. I do have a sense of humour, and I can laugh about the funny things that happen. I also have sadness and pain at watching my mother die a bit every day and of knowing exactly what is ahead of us.

I plan on going down to visit again in a few weeks, I feel that this year I want to make the most of what time we have left where she can still get out and about a bit. I find that after lunch she is so tired and is ready to go back to the home.
I'll finish with a lovely quote and pic of me at the beach at sunset. I went there each night to sit and reflect. It was so peaceful and comforting to be surrounded by the constant sound of the waves and the sheer vastness of the ocean.

'When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand.
The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares."

Henry Nouwen