My Father passed away a year ago…
15.02.49 – 26.06.13
“Kia ora, my name is Kyrin, I care full time for my Mum, Martha, she was diagnosed with early onset alzheimer’s 6 years ago, my Father cared for her but he passed away almost a year ago.” I have repeated this many times in the past few months, to social workers, support workers, nurses, doctors, carers, old friends and new. To be honest, it is not a sentence I thought I would ever say.
As I sit in a room of carers, I listen to one mans story; he says in a tired soft voice “I’m so lonely, we used to talk all the time and now I have no one to talk too, she won’t talk to me anymore, we’ve been married 47 years, I miss my wife.” This lonely mans wife was diagnosed 18 months ago, she is still in the early stages of her dementia. My heart aches for him and what the future holds.
Early into mum’s alzheimer’s diagnosis I had resolved that I would not take on responsibility of carer. At the time of this resolution I had only known her 25 years, my Father had known her 40. I was her child, my Father was her friend, lover, soul mate and husband. Her memory would lose me, long before it lost him. However all that changed on the 26th June 2013 at 6:30am. From that moment on, I was a full time carer.
As I listen to other carers who talk candidly of their battles with this disease I realize as an adult child I have been able to reshape my relationship with Mum. I never had to fall in love with her, our love has always been familiar to me, she has cared for me all my life and as a daughter I feel it is my duty to show the same respect to her. I have been given the tools to be flexible. Our relationship is different now, I am a parent to her, I make silly faces with her, I prepare her meals and wash her clothes. I climb into her bed when she is frightened, I reassure her that everything is ok and that no one is coming to take her away. The other carers who are friends, lovers, soul mates, husbands and wives are not as fortunate as I am, me and Martha are able to enjoy our new relationship, I am not burdened in the same way as a partner, I am not burdened by watching the person I fell in love with 40 years ago disappear before me, I am not burdened by having to care for someone I have fallen out of love with. I am not burdened by her disease.
Lots of love,
If you resist it, it’ll be cruel to you, if you let it in, it’ll be magic