My sister and I are looking after Mum while Dad is taking a rare and much needed break. I am floored once again by what Dad lives with. I am moved by love too.
Mum asks that one of us sleeps in her bed with her, basically because she feels safer like that. This is my call and though the closeness feels right, my sleep is interrupted for her noisy breathing. I do also feel grateful for the intimacy between us now which never there was before.
In the morning lots of energy is needed for all the processes of getting up, and most of that is Rebecca and I getting Mum up. Before breakfast is done I need a nap and we haven’t got ourselves organised yet.
The best part is the conversations that would never otherwise happen. We had hoped to take a bold trip out into Central London as we have done before, but that was without taking into consideration the extra mileage of doing everything else for Mum too. Usually a daytrip works when Dad and a carer have done the first part of the day for us. We are rethinking plans as I write.
Last night Mum dreamt she walked on the planets Mars and Venus, as she was in her 20s. Remarkable – she always dreams of being mobile and young, sometimes walking in outlandish places like the bottom of the ocean. She said she had thought of Botticelli’s painting ‘Venus and Mars’ yesterday.
Rebecca brought us tea in bed before the rigmarole begun. Mum mentioned her lack of confidence in life resulting in her getting few jobs and not having friends. After moving from East Berlin she didn’t really settle here. I remarked that she might have overlooked at least one type of confidence she didn’t lack, which was with men. She was beautiful and was rarely without a boyfriend, sometimes several. To hear her relating her past put fresh light on my own life patterns. I have been working on unpicking them to make positive changes, and I wonder how much more may I do.
I have a very big feeling about spending this quality time with Mum. It strikes me physically; I felt it growing in my belly area a day or 2 before coming here. It’s much bigger than us. It’s about love and it moves me. That she has changed so much, and her condition; she requires us to rethink ourselves makes her into a change-maker. It makes me rethink the way I live.
A few years ago faced with the imminent prospect of dying Mum told us all for the first time that she loved us. That love and openness have been growing.
- Why why why – didn’t I stop what I was doing and talk to mum? (debbie-carr.com)
- Anatomy of Love: Topless Sisters, Mum, a Beagle & a Hirst Sculpture (spiritedbodies.com)