Mum turns 95

This week was Mum’s 95 birthday. Two days before, she met her great-granddaughter for the first time. This has lifted her spirits no end.

She’s been saying recently that she just wants to see The Baby and then she wants to ‘go’. Indeed, one morning she was so blue, she said she didn’t even care about  seeing baby! She asked me several times if dad died at Xmas. He died just after New Year, but this is the first time she’s brought the subject up in the five years since his death. She wondered if she would die at the same time of year as he had?

My grandmother had a stroke on the anniversary of my grandfather’s death and died shortly afterwards. So I began to be a bit concerned. But since mum’s seen The Baby, there’s been no more of such talk.

The birthday celebrations went on for several days, starting with a visit from my cousins bearing gifts from their side of the family. Since then, there’s been a steady stream of visitors: my brother, his kids and their partners – and The Baby of course; neighbours etc. At the last count, mum had received 19 birthday cards. She even got greetings via Face Book. All this has improved her mood immensely.

Mum has always been a gregarious person who enjoys chatting and laughing. I can’t really provide that sort of companionship. I could do, if there were two of me: one to do all the work and one to sit and chat and watch tv. The carers, who are here for an hour, the cleaners, the hair dresser, all cheer her up briefly, but mainly, she misses my father.

She told me, ‘I just want to see my Frank. Do you think he will find me when I die?’ I don’t know the answer to that one. I imagined the afterlife like a very crowded wartime railway station with refugees pouring off packed trains. I said ‘Well, thousands and thousands of people die every day. It might not be so easy for him to find you.’ She smiled and shook her head. ‘You don’t know my Frank. If there’s a way, he’ll find it.’

Well, of course, I hope she’s right. But for now, The Baby seems to have provided some sort of compensation for being forced to stay in this boring world. She has the child’s photo by her chair and speaks to it a lot. And she does seem to be much happier. I guess she really was, quite simply, depressed.



6 thoughts on “Mum turns 95

  1. HI Polly, that is lovely and a beautiful photo of your mother with the baby. My father came to see my mother shortly before she died, when she was asleep ( he’d been dead for more than 50 years) She woke up and said he’d been and it had been incredibly real. I think he did meet her when she passed on, and your father will be there for your mother too. X

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  2. Hi Pollykins, Thanks so much for your birthday wishes and your wonderful blogs. They are so honest and poignant. I hope she finds Frank soon for both your sakes. You are doing so well, it is over a year now and you are still hanging in there. Glad the MOOC course was so helpful. My friend here is not coping as well as you. She hired an agency to be with her mother for 4 weeks and went back to her house in Blackheath and promptly fell ill and within days had her gallbladder out. what a schemozzle. But at least she doesn’t have to do any caring and she has a good friend caring for her. Life is good here except that I have just been disgnosed with rheumatoid arthritis which is good and bad. Explains lots of things but is incurable. But at least I now know why I have been so tired and weak for the last 2 years. Finally found a good doc! Am now on some sort of medication which is making my face blotchy but will know in 6 weeks if it works or not. Trying to not do too much but is against my nature so hard to change and consequently am seriously tired a lot. But at least it is not pancreatic cancer which was another path being considered. Have started to meditate and I must say it is difficult but rewarding. “”an englishman’s voice. Also started to do Tai Chi about 3 mornings a week, which doesn’t leave me much time for anything or anyone else. Have stopped being empathic! how things change. Anyhow my dear, keep on doing the good work and try to do some thing for yourself every day if possible. Lots of love Lorine

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  3. Pressed the wrong button. Anyway to continue, she will never venture out unless it is to walk half a kilometre down the road to visit the hairdresser. I don’t understand it. She doesn’t have much hair left, pays the Italian hairdresser $$$ and feels completely happy to do this once every two weeks. My sister says to let her be, it is the only luxury she allows herself to indulge in! 🙂


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