Last week I went to Somerset West to visit my Mum.
Sharing my thoughts and feelings are always difficult. Why write about them then?
When I was seeing a psychologist five years ago for anxiety issues, she encouraged me to write things down. When she discovered I had a blog, she suggested I write about my feelings and troubled thoughts in my blog. Who on this earth would want to know my problems, I asked. Her answer was that there will always be someone out there who will relate to what I said. Those who don’t want to read it .. won’t. Those who do .. will. I must admit I couldn’t read about other people who were in the same dark place as I was. It made me feel worse. That’s the way I felt. I couldn’t draw strength from reading about other people in the same or similar predicament.
So over the years .. and it’s been quite a few … I have shared my visits with my Mum on my blog. Whether they’re read or not, it’s neither here nor there. It helps me put the pieces together .. to make sense of her situation and to understand that there is nothing I can do about, except keep spending precious time with her, talking to her and looking deep into her eyes. I have got used to seeing her the way she is … incredibly thin and frail, not seeing most of the time, or hearing, and for a year or so, bedridden … her ever so thin legs and body curled in a foetal position. It breaks my heart
When I handed in a couple of large jars of moisturizing cream for Mum, the sister who I gave them to, for locking away in her cupboard, recognised me from Silver Oaks days … the Home where we took Mum 10 years ago after her first stroke in Zimbabwe. 10 years !!!! It seems unbelievable! We were told then that usually elderly stroke victims ‘keep going’ for another 3 years afterwards. It’s now 10 years !! She is a strong woman. She had always been active … took tremendous pride in our home, played tennis, bowls, sang in choirs her entire life, an expert at dressmaking and needlework, keen gardener and member of the floral society for many years – our home was always filled with vases of flowers, and she took an interest in everything!
In 2008 she started deteriorating. The following year we were told that it wouldn’t be long before she goes, and for this reason my brother was called from England. A year later she was taken off all medication as she had deteriorated further. She is in no pain and never has been.
Mum is still with us. Worsening little by little, still without pain thankfully, waiting for her place in heaven. God is preparing a beautiful garden for her and he hasn’t finished yet, so my cousin says 🙂
This time .. this visit .. this precious time I spent with her … she was calmer. Restful. Peaceful. Amazingly good colour in her very, very thin face. She always seems thinner than the last time. I look deep into her eyes. She knows I’m there, I’m sure of that. Her eyes change as if she’s trying to say something. I hold her head and stroke her hair. I hold her clenched hand in mine. I feel her heart beating.
It breaks my heart
Ian and I went together to see her on the day I arrived. On hearing his voice (and we thought she couldn’t hear much!) she opened her eyes wide and turned her head to see him. We were flabbergasted !! She hasn’t done that for a long, long time !!
I’m going again in January. Hubby is coming with me and we will meet up with my cousin and his wife, who live in England. Gavin wants to see her, talk to her and pray with her. He is a Reverend in an Elim Pentecostal Church. I need to be there too.
Photos taken in Ian and Kathy’s garden : Cabbage White butterfly – Pieris brassicae