Sunday, 21 August 2011

I don't have to believe them if I don't want to

Mum,

Another difficult night. Emmy has taken to staying up until 2am and I’m getting up at 7am to do her epilepsy meds so I’m once again in that state of perma exhaustion which I’ve come to know so well.

She was violent again last night the first appearance of it for 3 weeks which leads me now, when people ask how I am to reply “a good day for me is not getting punched in the face”

It was short lived and prompted by a big thunderstorm which brought her downstairs and under the skylights watching and unafraid. I was afraid though. I was worried and turned off the TV just like you used to and asked her to move from the window just like you used to. A tribute and a comfort which helped not at all.

You will have heard the same storm. Lying on your air filled mattress tiny and contracted.

I remembered when they were both born and the difficult nights then and you saying “just be glad of this time at least you know where they are at night”. We didn’t know then did we.

I miss you so much today that it’s making breath a little difficult to take.

I thought about those nights after Michael died when your grief shattered you. My gentle brother so like you in his temperament that when death approached him at 17 years old, on a ward full of old men he sent you for iced water.

You heard him die as you walked back. Just the two of you at the end as at the start and so you kissed him.

I still don’t know how you survived it. Was it for us your remaining children?

When your diagnosis arrived it sat side by side with Emmy’s autism. You moved from being Mum to child so gently. There was never violence.

I felt murderous though. I fought so hard to keep you. To force your neurotransmitters to keep hold of my face and my love. You said “They tell me it’s Alzheimers but I don’t have to believe them if I don’t want to.” Then a smile from a mother to her frightened child.

As a nurse you knew your journeys end.

So we walked together until you couldn’t walk anymore. You paced the corridors of the nursing home as you paced the garden at 2am in grief but then you were alone.

You let me go last of all and sometimes even now your eyes flicker, not with recognition but with a memory of recognition and it takes me back to you.

Laughing and comforting, as always.

Nicky x

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