Monday, 3 December 2012

A year on.

Emily aged 4
We're going to see Emmy this week. The school are having a christmas party and they invite the parents to visit and join in.

We haven't seen her for 9 weeks.

Emmy has settled in really well and is enjoying everything just as we hoped she would. She's learning and thriving and has managed the changes required of her with stoicism and with her usual charm. We're pleased of course and I have good days and bad days but I know that this was crucial if our hope for Emmy to have any kind of independence was to be realised.

She's doing well and we're really proud of her.

It's also the very first anniversary this week, of the day my Mum died. I still find it really hard to believe those words. No matter how many times I write them or say them, they still won't quite sink in.

Me (aged18months) and Mum. Chester zoo

When I was little on a Saturday we'd walk to the paper shop and Mum would buy her Cosmopolitan Magazine and I'd buy a comic and we'd sit together on the sofa silently reading.

I'd always lie with my head resting against her chest and I'd hear her hear beating and I'd worry that it would stop and she'd be gone. I'd chatter on like children do and she'd listen and answer me and then we'd read a bit more. It was in the days before my dad left the days before my brother died and I wonder now that I'm exactly the same age how she coped when everything fell apart. 

Where did her strength come form.

Were they just a different breed these women who were born before the war. Part human, part granite. uncomplaining, stoic, calmly centred and utterly capable. It makes me embarrassed that by comparison my worries are few and far between.

She travelled to Africa by ship, at a time when a woman travelling from a small Shropshire Village to another continent may well have announced she was moving to the moon.

She was 23.

Her mother, who she adored, took her to the station and stood and waited as her train left from the small platform. Watching her go for the last time, because my grandmother died two years later.

Mum with her mum on a weekend home from nurse training early 195O's

She missed her Mum as I miss mine. 

A year on from her dying is no easier than with every year that passed, post her diagnosis of Alzheimer's. Just because you part from them slowly, doesn't mean it's easier or any kind of relief when they leave you absolutely.

It's just a blink of an eye when you compare it to the life of the Universe, but to have been loved well, leaves an indelible mark on all future relationships. It's the flipside to the damage done by those who parent badly.

I hope I'm the mother to my children, that my mother was to me and her mother was to her. I hope too that I was the daughter that my mother deserved. The debt of real love can never be repaid, because it's repayment is never sought. How can checks and balances feature in something unquantifiable.

I doubt I'll feel future anniversaries as acutely as the first because of the healing properties of the passage of time, but for now I do.

1 comment:

  1. The debt of love is never paid back, is has to be paid forward.