Dear Mum, it’s May

Image by Michael Gaida

Dear Mum,

I’m sure you already know as I imagine you are keeping an eye on me from up above, but I’m tidying the house again. There is still so much to be done and not enough hours in the weekend, which is my only time to get things done.

I’m battling another headache, same as last week. Is it something about weekends or I just am heading towards the menopause a little faster than I hoped and migraines are collateral damage. It might be stress too, there have been a lot more changes in work. Perhaps it’s time time to read the handout my counsellor gave me.

I was folding some of your clothes today for the charity shop and I was thinking how happy you would be that someone was going to be able to make use of your summer skirts and tops now that we have been blessed with some sunshine. I was sad too when I lifted your cardigan and I could smell your perfume. It reminded me of the nights you used to go out, I loved walking up the stairs after you had left and smelling your perfume, a reminder that you had been there. I did worry that once I have finished this mammoth task of putting the house in order that apart from your photographs there would be very few reminders, but the reality is you are everywhere, especially in my heart.

I miss you. At one time I wasn’t sure I would, the last couple of years had been so intense that I thought perhaps I would feel nothing but relief, and I did, but I also felt the loss.

You’re always in my thoughts, but at night I smile and think about you when I brush my teeth, because you used to stick your tongue out at me when I tried to brush yours.

I’m writing because when I looked out at the garden I realised how happy you would have been to see it today. Dad mowed the lawn which is actually a decent shade of green for a change. You wouldn’t care much for the lawn though would you, you’d be more excited about the little cluster of primroses and you’d be walking after him telling he better not mow them down. Don’t worry, he was obviously thinking of you too, because he carefully manoeuvred around them.  Then you’d admire the carpet of Bluebells that through your haphazard planting now cover about 60 percent of the top half of the garden. Today I have to agree as I look out into the sunshine, they do look rather awesome.

Don’t worry about me, I’m good and still taking comfort in the fact that you’re in a better place and no longer suffering. I just wanted to let you know about the Bluebells because I wish you could see them too.

Love

Me :) x

 


A couple of weeks ago another blogger Holly shared a post and in it she talked about a song from Ed Sheeran called Supermarket Flowers. I can’t now listen to it without thinking about my Mum, such a poignant tune. Thank you Holly for sharing it in the first place.

The Motherships Final Flight

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I have no idea how I am supposed to tackle a post like this, but I know I have been trying to for the last 7 days or more.

Perhaps I was scared that writing about it would make me actually have to face up to what I know deep down is true.

My Mum passed away. She’s gone. Not just out of the house any more, but gone forever.

People keep asking me how I feel and I am not sure what my answer is supposed to be, because I have no idea how I feel. No one gives you a handbook.

My life for so long was looking after my Mum, watching her decline and wondering what was going on in her head. As someone pointed out, we managed to look after her for as long as we could and this resulted in her only being away from the house for just over 2 months. I hope we did right by her and that now she understands we did the best we could.

There was never going to be a vast improvement, her refusal to eat and drink was worrying for all concerned, family and Doctors alike, but I never expected she was going to die, well not so soon anyway. There were moments of uncertainty when she contracted Aspiration Pneumonia, she looked so frail and her breathing sounded painful, but she still kinda bounced from day to day.

Last week, reports had been better, people were a little happier after their visits. She was in good enough spirits, chittering away and even recognised some people. On Wednesday we got the phonecall, the one that even though I never expected it, I dreaded. We were asked to come to the hospital, things didn’t look good.

The Doctor told us that after she had become unresponsive they had sent her for a brain scan which had revealed she had suffered another bleed, this one significant and sadly untreatable. All that was left now was to make her comfortable and wait.

We sat around her bed. We cried, we laughed while sharing stories and we waited.

Thankfully for both us and her, we did not have to wait too long. After she stopped breathing the first time, my Dad spoke to her, my Sister prayed for her and I sang to her, my Aunt and Uncle close by until a few minutes later she just slipped away in her sleep.

People tell me she is in a better place, whole again and happy. I have to believe that too, because it’s what is going to get me through each day. This ending, although sad, was better for her.

It’s hard to sum up someone’s life in words, but our Minister managed to do it perfectly, telling the 400 strong crowd how much of a character she was. There were nods of agreement, as each person no doubt remembered their own encounters with this wee woman who was so many things to so many people. A Wife, a daughter, a Mother, a friend, a nurse or even just a stranger who offered smiles and hugs without expecting anything in return.

She may have been small in stature, but she leaves a big void.

Rest in peace Mum, I love you x