herself

Brought to you from the different world of a year ago; my Mothers’ Day post.

My mum is a star. Vibrant and sassy, full of style and charm. A veteran of many a golf club and gin joint. An adventurer, only a little constrained by her time and place. Why would she buy boring black when bright pink is available? Informal, but with an eye for the proprieties- wine from a tumbler is fine at the kitchen table, as long as you don’t forget the good china for a formal event. Constantly striving to love, learn and laugh. Strong, passionate and funny. She’s warm, generous and sociable.

My mum has always been the youngest mum within my groups of friends. She was the right age to enjoy the sixties, she was in her early forties when I graduated and was ready to reap the benefits of  a long retirement. After being widowed at 50, she moved to live in Spain. By 60 she was happily remarried, had grandchildren to dote over, and an active social life, in Ireland once more. When I moved house, she arrived with cleaning products and wine- Spurs Fan arrived home to find the house well warmed, but no cleaner than when he’d left.

Now, my mum is dying. Very, very slowly. We may not be able to share another Mothers’ Day. Her brain is getting all tangled (the science bit)  and doesn’t send the right messages to her body, so it’s shutting down. She’s unable to eat, can hardly speak, she has long lost her balance and is losing any ability to move. Her vision is severely limited. She needs full time nursing care. There is no treatment for her condition. She is 68.

We are defeated by this. Her husband, children and grandchildren, her siblings and wider family, her good friends- we are all helpless. We are heartbroken. We can only watch, hold her hand, and absorb each blow, each little loss, and know that the big loss comes ever closer.

And so it did.

If you have one about you, hug a mum today. She’ll need it.

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16 thoughts on “herself

  1. Fiona, there aren’t any words: thinking of you all day. And thinking of those beautiful daughters of yours, who, I have no doubt, be hugging you lots. And I shall think of your words as I hug my mum, who within the next few weeks will be having an operation to blanche at. Loads of love to you and yours today.

    1. The little ones bounced in at 7.30 with full enthusiasm and carefully wrapped gifts. We did lots of hugging- and then I went back to sleep, like a sensible person! Hug and hold as much as you can – it’ll keep you both right. Unless you freak your poor mum out totally :) x

    1. I was lucky to have great parents, just not for long enough. Of course, I still hear them in my head, know them in the chatter of family life, and see glimpses of them in the next generation :)

  2. Speccy, I’m so terribly sorry to read the circumstances of your loss, but I’m also pleased to know more about you and the circumstances that have inspired your volunteer efforts. I much better understand your motivation to be so tireless in your work. I am so touched by what you’ve shared about your own dear mother. What a wonderful friend to you she must have been, and the loss must at times be crushing. I really can’t imagine! Blessings to you as a new week begins, Fiona. I admire how you keep going! Debra

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