For me, writing is one of the best ways to deal with the gradual and deeply painful loss of of my beautiful Mum to dementia. When I was finishing my writing degree at Uni a few years ago, I wrote about her almost continuously. She hadn’t deteriorated much at that point, but I didn’t know that. When you’re losing someone, you become so caught up in what’s been lost, that you don’t always stop to consider what remains. I didn’t grasp the full potential of where she would end up back then, of how far her mind and body would fail. I still don’t think I do.
Some days the shadow of dementia just drifts over her like a gradually shifting tide, and the next it’s a crashing ocean. The only certainty in her life, is the downward spiral, and it all feels so tragic and pointless.
But she’s given me a heart full of amazing memories, and a never ending stream of inspiration for the path I’m on as a Mother today.
She was a real textbook Mum. The kind that everyone wants. She has always been a peaceful person, full of grace and warmth and love. I was taller than she was by the time I turned eleven, which I thought was hilarious. Sunken living rooms were all the rage back then (so was the word rage). She would hug me a lot, with me in the sunken room, and her on the step, so that I could continue to feel like her baby, even though my body was becoming so long. She would tuck me into bed so tightly that I could barely move or breathe, and it felt amazing. I can remember a few unstable points in my adult life when I stayed with her and Dad, and she would do the same thing.
I don’t remember her ever raising her voice at any of us (I was one of four), and I know now what a superhuman feat that was. She studied and worked full time from when I was 5. She ran a stupidly efficient home, which I have only recently come to fully appreciate. She taught me how to do and love many things. My passion for cooking stems directly from her. I love to bake. I don’t actually remember her baking a lot, but she always encouraged us to bake. I think there is a link between that and ‘running a stupidly efficient home’! She created so many food traditions for us, which have influenced how I cook for my family today. She had lots of creative hobbies, but nothing self indulgent. Nothing she couldn’t do while teaching one of us to do the same thing, or have a meaningful conversation with one or all of us at the same time.
She was a phenomenal Mum, an inspirational person, and is constantly in my thoughts. Happy Mothers Day beautiful lady, you are, and always will be the most amazing Mum in the universe to me.
Linked with Essentially Jess for IBOT