Thursday, October 28, 2010

a new phase

The doctor warned us this would be a rollercoaster. I've always rather liked exciting rides. Not this one. This is a ride I can't get off. But, after the desperate dips of the last few weeks, we now seem to be on the long straight stretch - and I have no idea if at the end we plummet down a horrible frightening fall, or slowly tantalisingly rise up to new heights. It's a rollercoater ride with blindfolds.

Mum is off the critical list, and has been transferred to Belfast, alert enough to know who we are and what is going on. Great for us to have a little of her back (albeit a silent, parlaysed her) but awful for her as she is trapped inside a redundent body unable to express herself other than through half a smile and two bright blue terrified eyes. On good days, when she recognises me and touches my face, I am strengthened - like my lipstick reward of old when the taste of her lipstick when she kissed me as a child made me feel invinsible. On bad days when she is lost to me, I can hardly muster the strength to keep going. I spoon feed my mother, and come home to feed my children. I rub moisturiser on her drying out skin, and come home and rub oil on my newborn's growing skin. Two ends of the lifecycle spectrum and I am in the middle.

But. I must learn from my parent to be a parent. She taught me to carry on and find the good in the bad. Yesterday my baby smiled at me for the first time, and so did my mum. A new phase begins. A long phase of development and rehabilitation. They both need me..... and those smiles will have to give me the strength. Thank you also for all your good wishes and thoughts - my friends keep me going too.....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Life on the edge

As I cling to my new baby's life, I watch my mum's old one slipping away. Old, but not done. Not by a long shot. She may have been in her 70's but she was as lively and vivacious as always. She did water aerobics twice a week, walked very day, did the crossword and had a more active social life than me. Always glamourous, she never left the house without lipstick.

I am a young mum, and am too young to loose my mum.
Who will call me every morning to see how my night has been?
Who will I call every afternoon to hear how her day has been, and be told how cold it is, even when it's 20 degrees?
Who will call me every evening during the kid's tea, saying "I know it's a bad time, but...."?
Who will fix my knitting?
Who will turn their face to the sun with me as we sit outside and watch the girls play?
Who will hold my hand, despite me being 40 years old?
Who will stroke my face?
Who will tell me I'm talented and amazing?
Who will tell me I'm spoilt and need to grow up?
Who will help me make all the forthcoming birthday cakes?
Who will I call when I can't make gravy?
Who will I want when I'm ill and no-one will do but her?
Who will I share all my joy and pain with?
Who will I share my everyday moments with over a cup of tea and a chocolate ("You can never have a cuppa without a bite of chocolate")?

The void she is leaving is too dark, too deep, too dangerous, too frightening to behold right now. All I can do is hold her hand. I suspect my three girls will hold me back from the edge.

I hold her hand every day, a hand that has touched and guided me my entire life.
I stroke her face, a face that has filled my vision more than any other face in my life.
My heart is breaking, and the person I need to fix it can't help me any more.