A letter to my… Martha
Over the past year I have gotten to know you differently. I am now your full time carer. At the mall the other day I repeated Mum 5 times and I couldn’t get your attention. But when I said Martha, you turned and smiled at me. Your smile made me happy and sad. I was happy because you smiled, but sad because with every day that passes our relationship moves away from mother/daughter to something I am scared of.
Tonight at work we did a gratitude round, and I was grateful for you. You are always grateful for me. Sometimes I take that for granted because I think you don’t know what to say so it is easy to just say me. But tonight I wanted you to know I was grateful to you and the reshaping of our relationship, and for the fact that I still have you and some days we have really good days and it is as if you aren’t plagued at all by this horrible disease.
Then when we got home tonight and I went to sleep and got woken up by banging on the door at 2am, the downstairs people let me know that water from our house was flooding theres. I went and checked and you were standing in your socks in the water talking to yourself. In an instant I was overwhelmed by so much emotion that I was in physical pain. I had so many questions for you and knew you couldn’t answer them. We argued, and every time I spoke my heart hurt because I knew it was pointless but also emotion had over ridden the rational part of my brain. I shut the door so I could clean the water behind it and move furniture around and when I re-emerged you had gone.
I grabbed my car keys and walked out the door that was wide open. When I spotted you in my car I couldn’t reason with myself to be kind. I yelled at you. I’m sorry I yelled. I wanted to reason with you and we argued in the car in the middle of the street. We hurt each other with our words, and I felt sorry for myself that in the morning you might not remember what I had said, but I would remember what you said. This was then overlapped immediately by guilt. I’m sorry I was unkind and that you were unkind too. Maybe we need to go and eat at Coco’s and remind ourselves to Be Kind?
When we were in India for the first time I got really ill, bloody delhi belly. This was the first time we talked about your disease, when I was sick and I thought I might die. Thinking about it now it was such a strange time to talk about it. I was violently throwing up and couldn’t stop shaking. I remember that evening so vividly. You told me how the doctor explained alzheimers. Like a full bottle of water that had tiny holes poked into it and over time water slowly left the bottle. That was what was going to happen to you, slowly your brain would get rid of things. Back then, 5 years ago I never imagined it was going to be like this. I knew you would lose the memory of me, and eventually dad and then yourself. But I never imagined it would be this difficult. That you would stop communicating in my world and become fully immersed in your own, to the point where our house gets flooded.
I really miss you Mum, I miss having a Mum and a Dad. It is hard not having you as a Mum, when all I want is a motherly hug and for you to cook my favorite foods I ate when I was a kid. It has undeniably been a hard year. We have been through a lot together. When Dad passed away I knew that actually I would be grieving for both my parents as alzheimers slowly stole more of you from me. I’m trying really hard, but sometimes I don’t get it right. Sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me, and I know that is ok too. After all I am only human.
Of late I have started to wonder if I am providing the best care for you, tonight we talked about you going to stay in a rest home. We both shed tears because we didn’t want that, I don’t want to be without you. The selfish part of me is scared to be alone. How terrifying it will be when I am completely alone with my thoughts. You looked sad when we talked about it, I asked you if you wanted to live in a rest home, if it was too hard with me. My delivery wasn’t the best but you said. No. Defiantly. I was happy you had such an emotive response. I don’t want you to go. We just need to figure out a way to make this work Mum.
I love you Mum. It has been a long hard year, but we have shared so many adventures and I have enough memories stored for both of us. Please don’t leave me just yet.
I’m not ready for that.
Love, Kyrin xox
If you resist it, it’ll be cruel to you. If you let it in, it’ll be magic!