Thursday, 21 February 2013

Dear Mum - An open letter

Dear Mum,

I know you will never read this but it is something I need to do for me and as my blog is somewhat my therapy; I thought it might help me a little.

Ever since I have gotten older you have always been 45 in my mind. I suppose that age was when I remember you as being so outgoing and sociable. I would have been 9 years old and loved going to the club on a Saturday night with you and Dad, meeting up with my sisters and friends and having a great time. So I suppose 45 is the age that both you and Dad stuck at.

Yesterday I saw you age in front of my eyes, for the last few days you have deteriorated dramatically and it is breaking my heart. I don't know you anymore, who ever is pretending to be you needs to give you back as I miss my Mum and my best friend and I don't know where she is.

 You grew up in a slightly more modern version of the Darling Buds of May, from being evacuated down from the East end of London at 18months and subsequently being given to a couple that couldn't have children. From photographs of you collecting honey in the bee fields and playing on the Watercress train, to hearing stories of baking, sewing and walks down country lanes, huge skirts for the dances and a couple of pence to ride the bus to town.
It always sounded idyllic and I wished I had been around in the 50s.

It used to make me embarrassed hearing how you saw lightening and heard thunder when you saw my dad for the first time - sat on the bus you looked out the window as he looked up and that was that. He came to the village that day to find you and ask you out. Although engaged to another who was away on National Service you ended that relationship and married Dad in 1959. He passed away just after your 41st wedding anniversary.

I don't actually think either of you had much zest for life after my sister passed away in '99.  You were diagnosed with COPD just after and you have never really been well since.

I agreed to move in and become your career 7 years ago, and I had no idea it would ruin the relationship we had as much as it has.
On one hand I am for all intents and purposes YOUR mother and then in the next sentence you treat me like I am a teenager again. It is very, very hard to know my place.
Until this week though you have had all your faculties and seeing you in an almost dementia like state is so hard for me and Evan.
I have a fear that he will come in to find you gone one morning and that scares the shit out of me.
I don't for once in my life, know what to do. I don't know whether to insist to you go into a residential home, stay here alone and have increased care or continue as I am.
I do think for the sake of my child I need to move out and I think that the time we spend together will be of a far better quality than what it is now.
I know you love the whole being institutionalised scenario as you love the routine and hustle n bustle of the hospital wards. So maybe you would prefer a home situation.
I don't know what I would have done without my friends in the last week, both life and online friends have been awesome support without which I don't think I would have got through it.
Seeing you so frail and being virtually left by the medical profession to sit and die, was heartbreaking but one thing that I now know from previous experience is to never be afraid to question doctors and their opinions.
I think if I had just left you for another couple of days 'to see how it goes' you wouldn't have been with us by the end of it.
I don't know what is going to happen, whether you will come home, be sent to a home or even if you will come out at all which is unfortunately a situation I am having to face and be ready for.
I miss you Mum, I want YOU back - not the little frail, bitter person that occupies your chair.

I do love you so much and want you home, safe sound and above all well.

L Xx
Have you had to make a decision about your parents? If so what did you do? Comments always welcome.