We miss you

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15.02.49 – 26.06.13

Today has been weighing on my mind, the 26th of June.  It is just another day in the year, but for me it is a day of heartache.  As it comes closer it whispers to me and I cry.  My heart races, my palms sweat and I cry.  Anywhere.  I feel as though I am experiencing my grief for the first time and I cannot contain the way it looks to the outside.

I have lived in this world for two years without you. I have carried the weight of your life and Martha with me for two years.  Then as the day drew closer and closer, when it was 3 days since the anniversary of your body leaving this world, I started to break.  I started to think of all the things you have missed, all the times I needed you, all the adventures I wanted to tell you about.  My grief became so powerful at one point I was paralyzed by it.  I wanted to scream at the world that I hate this, I miss you, I love you. I wanted to scream at the world at how unfair this is, how cruel it is.  I wanted to scream like a child until I was breathless and I have nothing left to give. But I don’t, I let my eyes weep, I let my body feel numb and I let my heart break.

Then I see Martha’s grief, and mine is intensified.  She doesn’t know what month it is, what year it is, or what city she is in.  But she knows that you left her world at this time of year. I hold her hand, kiss her head and tell her a million times that I love her and watch in agony as tears stream down her face. She misses you.  She misses you so much I see her slipping further from my reality, begging the Gods to take her closer to yours.  She whimpers as if her body is in pain, but there is nothing and then I realise, she whimpers because you are the moon to her earth and now she is unbalanced.  She has nothing that orbits her, her love, her love that spanned her life is gone and she needs that love to live.  I look at her and her pain vibrates so strongly it touches my skin and I want to wrap her in my warmth in my love, but it is not enough for her, my strong love for her is not enough to heal the pain of losing you.

I close my eyes and pray to the many Gods that may be listening, I pray to the earth, to the stars, to the moon, I pray that Martha my strong unwavering love can help her, even in just the tiniest of ways. I pray that Martha knows I love her, even though sometimes she doesn’t know my name and I pray that my love keeps her smiling just a little bit longer.

And as we lay in bed, her hand holding mine, we share stories of you, Dad, we share our stories of you and I am reminded of your greatness.  And in your greatness I am reminded of my own greatness. For two years I have lived, loved, hurt, hated and been delighted by life. And it is by your greatness Dad, that I am here.

Much love,

Kx

——————————-

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For the existed.”

Maya Angelou

Letting go

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On a recent trip away I got the chance to listen to what I needed.  To listen to what would best serve Martha and I as we continue on our journey.  As I listened, wrote, cried, breathed and laughed I discovered the power of letting go.  I, for the first time in almost two years gave myself permission to let go.  To let go of the grief, to let go of the sadness and to let go of Martha.  As I explored the depths of my soul I realized the best way for me to serve Martha was to not hold on to her as if she was my Mother all the time.  I had to make the conscious decision to pick and choose when she was my Mama and when she was the woman I was caring for.

As I write this and reflect it may seem cruel to have to think of Martha as two different people, but in order to keep moving forward in our journey this is a necessary step for me.  As of late, Martha’s ability to communicate with the world is becoming more and more difficult.  She is reverting to a more physical manner of dealing with things, biting, scratching, pinching, hitting.  None of these pleasant, but none unmanageable.  I am much stronger than her, much bigger than her and I am able to communicate.  Recently as she took a bite of me, angry and frustrated. I let go of my Mother and embraced this woman who I was caring for.  I told her it wasn’t nice for her to bite me, but apart from that I did not react, I did not resist.  I let her bite me until she tired, and then we moved forward.  She achieved what her brain thought she needed and I remained calm and able to function.  Previously I have reacted.  I have yelled, screamed, fought back.  It has been unpleasant.  I have ended up with a broken heart and a few serious scars.  But this time as I let my Mama go and embraced my Martha I felt able to nurture and keep Martha safe.  More than that I was able to nurture and keep myself safe too.

In other ways I have had to let go too, usually if Martha does not want to go out I have not gone out.  I have been largely dictated by Martha’s needs and wants, in the same breath she has been dictated by my needs and wants as well.  But as she fussed and fought with me about not going out one particular evening.  I let go, I was going out. I secured the house, let the neighbors know, wrote my name and phone number on her arm, left her food and left.  When I returned home three hours later Martha was in bed, in her PJ’s fast asleep.  The house was not a mess, it was not burnt down and Martha was not hurt.  I climbed into bed, turned off the lights and slept soundly.  I had successfully let go.  I, for the first time in a long time, put my heart first.

Caring for my Mama, for my Martha is not easy.  It is also not the hardest thing either.  If you resist it, it’ll be cruel to you, if you let it in, it’ll be magic!!

K xx

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Ramblings of redundancy…

I received an interesting email today that arose many mixed emotions, first I was non-phased, ah yes just added to the email list like every other joe-blogs but as I opened up the email to read it’s contents I noticed it was only addressed to three individuals, I lucky enough to be one of three. My second wave of emotions set in, confusion; why me? Why am I lumped in? Why am I getting this? Then came acceptance and grace, that is very generous for the author of this email to spend time out of there undoubtedly busy day to write to me personally. I cast my eyes over the email ready to push delete and then I saw this line..

…I wish you all well and hope that you can see your way clear to putting any previous friction between adults aside, and come along to support the kids…

I made the noise, huh… out loud as if someone could react. My brain started to search itself, what does this mean? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? My very intellectual logical brain was drawing blanks.

And then as I sat back, pushed delete and thought about it, I sat amused at how far I had come, and how easy it would be to fall back. For the past three months I have wanted to write this post, I have started, restarted, deleted, edited, trashed and left blank and today I sit, able to write.

Four months ago I lost my job. To save face I say redundancy when in fact I was fired/terminated. Called into a cold office one morning to ‘catch up’ and told in no uncertain terms that I was no longer required. Thank you for everything I had done but I was no longer the direction the organisation was going in. It filled me with anger. If you know me then you will not I don’t act on anger very often, I find it hard, my size whilst in general it would be something that adds to anger inhibits me from exploring it properly. So instead of acting out, I acted upon myself. I drank, I drugged, I cried, I asked death to come for me more than once. I felt humiliated, trapped, lonely and after everything I had given for the last four years I felt as thought I was being thrown under the bus with one hard push. By many participants of the organisation I was to blame for so much that was not going right and to counter that by many I was still highly regarded. Unfortunately as humans do we don’t often seek to pursue only the positive but in fact focus solely on the negative. So through chinese whispers I got the pleasure of snippets like “it’s so much better without Kyrin,” “she was so terrible at her job” and in all honesty, it destroyed me. It broke my heart. It broke me.

So after a time of grieving and mourning, a time of unrest where many lovely things were said as well as many deeply hurtful things were shared with me. I got over it. I just simply let it go. ‘Fuck them’ I thought. Until recently. The last few days have been filled with teasers of a past life, taunting me, calling me back into its whimsy. I tell myself, stay strong, stay proud. Look at far you have come. I soothed my soul and listened to my heart, filling my mind with only kindness for myself and then I listened.

I searched my brain for the answers of what I thought this meant .. I wish you all well and hope that you can see your way clear to putting any previous friction between adults aside, and come along to support the kids… And when I truly listened to my heart I only found light, love and laughter. Light for myself because I am in a wonderful position of movement and flexibility with my life. Love for all the wonderful young people I had the pleasure of knowing and continue to know and watch blossom and I laughed because I thought if you need to write that then maybe you yourself haven’t seen your way clear.

So no, I will not be attending the opening night. I simply don’t want to. I will, in my own time make my way through the gallery of Studio One and admire the work of my young people. I will walk with my shoulders held high and think of all the work that is not displayed by the young people who are still intertwined in my life. I will walk and think of how wonderful life is. And I hope that if you read this, if you really read this, I hope you know my life is wonderful.

Much love,

K x

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Letters to my Mama… part 1

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Hi Mama,

Firstly I wanted to tell you that I love you. I love you so much it often brings tears to my eyes just thinking about you.  Of everything you have done for me and everything you do for me.  But also for the sadness.  For your sadness as I watch and listen now at how frustrating life is for you.  How frustrated you are to be trapped within a moment that you cannot escape.  I love you because each day you wake up and you relive your nightmare over and over.  It is seemingly endless until the moment your medication kicks in at night and you fall asleep.  Drug induced sleep and for at least 3 hours you have reprieve from your nightmares.  Mama, I hope that when you sleep, you sleep sweetly, you dream of the way things were.  You dream of dancing with your husband on your wedding day. Mama, I love you.

I want to write and write to you and so I will, I want to write a million things and tell you about my life.  Mama, I think I’m doing a good job.  Sometimes it’s hard, this morning it was hard while you were telling me to shut up and I just wanted to disappear into the monotony of the world.  But in one moment it looked like you knew me and I clutched at that. Mama, I can’t say it enough but I love you. I love you.

When I dropped you off this morning I had bought a change of clothes for you, you didn’t want to get out of your PJ’s, but once we got to the group you realized you couldn’t go in in your pajamas.  So I led you through the house and helped you get changed.  You stood as if unable to move and as I bent down to pull your pants on you rested your hand on my back for balance.  I have missed your touch Mama.  I so miss you and everything that we shared.

But I took that moment for us, I took it to remind myself you are still my Mum.  Because now we don’t get days any longer, we only have mere moments where we know each other.  So I have to hold onto those moments before they become so far and few between that I do not recognize them any longer.

I will write again soon Mama, I promise.

Don’t forget, I love you.

Kyrin x

Mumbles and muttering…

I catch snippets of Martha talking hurriedly to herself.  Chatting away, I turn my head quickly.  ‘What are you talking about? Probing and invasive.  ‘Nothing’ she mumbles.  It reminds me of when I was a teenager, muttering under my breath and being caught out, my parents invasive, what was I saying? Nothing important.  Now as I hear her talk and talk and talk I insist with the same insistence my parents once had, I demand to know what she is talking about.

Nothing.. She grows angry that I want to know her secrets. She keeps them as guarded as possible from me, she mutters under breath, glancing up to check if I am watching.  When I turn my head she stops talking, as if she has been caught in a lie.  I turn back and from the corner of my eye I see her lips move, the words are falling from her soundless mouth as she tries to keep her conversation a secret.

I leave the space we are in, trapped in a car I tune out, I don’t want to listen to her chatter anymore, but something in me still wants to know her secrets, I turn the radio up to distract myself.  Martha covers her ears. Her chatter becomes faster, more urgent, she is glancing up at me. I turn the music off, making a big deal of the action.  She is relieved, it was too noisy she couldn’t hear herself talk.  I grab for her hand and will her to squeeze back, I will her to know who I am, that I am of her blood.  She quickly pulls her hand back, frantic in her talking.

We have arrived at my destination, Martha out of the car and inside quickly.  Glad to be home I sense as checks her belongings, all there. She sits on her bed and I lean against the door frame, “Are you ok Mum?” She looks up and her smile is wide and bright, it is beaming and sunshiney and I bask in its warmth “mmmm.” She sighs

I make her a cup of tea and bring her something to eat, she sits in the chair she usually sits in, she looks content, satisfied. I look at her and give thanks, at last she knows she is home.

K x

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The Beast and its Beauty

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Today I chased the sun and it led me here. It was magnificent. I sat on a rock that looked as if it had been purposely placed for this precise thing. To watch with great awe as the sun disappeared behind the mountains. It was cold and I felt chilled but I couldn’t look away, it was captivating and mesmerizing but only for a time. Why wasn’t the sun moving faster, I want to see it set like it does in movies, quickly and romantically. The sun took its time and I grew impatient. I stood on the rock and put music on, I let this world, the one filled with lights and noise and gadgets and music that plays from a device take over the beauty of what was happening around me. I stood on the rock and in my vanity I thought about changing my Facebook profile photo. The angle was wrong, the color was wrong, the view, you couldn’t see the view.

I turned around and looked out, what was stopping me from enjoying this moment? Why was I so consumed with myself, with my iPhone? When I dropped my eyes I saw something unusual in the grass, I saw the head of a deer. My heart stopped. My first instinct was to run away, to get in the car and find somewhere else to take my photos and watch the sun disappear. I didn’t run though. I sat on the rock and looked at the beast. I was no longer there for the view. I stood and touched my hand to the rock, I asked the universe.. “Is this where you lost your head beast?” I ran my hand over spots on the rock and realized they were not just discolorations of the rock but blood spots, most likely from this beast. I was no longer there to watch the sunset; I wanted to stay so that as night crept upon us this beast would not be alone. In my head I kept saying, this is silly. You are being silly. But in my heart this beast was calling to me. So I sat, and stood, and walked and spoke. I spoke to the beast as if it was my God and I told her my secrets. I told her the things of my life, of my love, of my heart; I told her who I was and who I wanted to be. I sat perched on this rock and spoke of my insecurities while the day disintegrated. This beast, this beautiful beast reminded me how fickle life is, how cruel it is and I prayed that she had died long before the fall of an axe that took her head.

I listened to the universe and as if by some magic day had turned to night and I stared out, the beast now gone, taken by darkness. I put my fingers to my lips and kissed them, saying one last prayer for this beast that lost her head, most likely on this rock. I watched in wonder as more stars emerged and thought to myself;

In the light of a city we do not see such beauty but it still exists.

In the darkness of night we do not see such sadness but it still exists.

Standing in the darkness speaking to this beast I was enlightened. I asked questions as if by some divine intervention I would hear the answers vibrating through the earth. I spoke and spoke and spoke until I could not longer talk and then I sat and listened to the world. I thought of this beast that never would of uttered a lie, never would have been unfaithful, never would have been cruel and reflected on what a harsh place it is to be human. I reflected on the choices I made and thanked the beast for stopping me in my vanity for the perfect photo.

I had been there nearly two hours and as my brain ticked over what a profound thing I thought, to be led to this place because I wanted to chase the sun I wanted to watch the beauty of day turn to night and instead I was confronted by death. By its pungent smell, by its cruelty, by it’s flecks of blood that had been absorbed into this rock.

This moment was mine and I cherished it.

Tomorrow I thought; it would be June. It has been nearly two years since the death of my Father gripped at me and consumed me. In two years I have lived a thousand lives and learnt a million lessons. And tonight as I let the beast of death consume my thoughts once again, I thought of how thankful I was to be blessed by such divinity as wanting to chase the sun. Because in the same way I wanted to chase the sun I am chasing something bigger and if it hadn’t have been for death then I never would of seen it.

Love x

dad15.2.49 – 26.6.13

Grateful

IMG_6263One year ago I made my first post. I had been contemplating starting a blog and then I did. In that year since, I have posted 32 blogs, made a bunch of new friends and lived several lives all in just a short 52 weeks. I have dragged Martha over the countryside, across seas and from house to house with me as if I was entitled to do so. I often hear the phrase “Martha wouldn’t want you to do this, she would want you to live your life.” An odd phrase I think, I usually just smile and nod politely. Grin, grit my teeth. I don’t really know what that means but it makes me think, am I not living?

So in honor of that sentence, in honor of Martha and myself here I am to say. I am living my life, and I am so grateful for that. Currently I am sitting on the lakefront of Lake Wakatipu in Kingston. I am writing like a crazy person about something that is in my blood, I am exploring who I am and what I want to do? A crazy notion when I think back to two years ago and thought I knew! Over the past two years I have been to hell and back. On occasion I was given no choice I was taken there and left to figure my way back and other occasions with great passion I took myself there as well, I basked in it’s heat and glory. I have come close to death with much sadness and come closer with lust in my eyes. I have lived, loved, cried, laughed and for the first time in nearly two years; I have found peace. Martha, an ever-moving pillar in my life has shown me that I am valued and that we together are living.

Whilst her Alzheimer’s saddens me I am grateful for it as well. A strange thing to say and a stranger thing to read but as I absorb the world, this earth and the magnitude of powerful mountains that surround me I see Martha and her disease for what it is. The opportunity for me to grow, to heal, to love and to live. So for that I am grateful… I am grateful for when she tells me she loves me very much, for her soft touch, for her delusions in which she needs me, for the look on her face when I walk into a room and she is no longer panicked. For her love of me and her hate. For giving me true patience to hold her and tell her I love her when her brain has tricked her into thinking I am not of her blood. For compassion and kindness that I never knew brewed so deeply inside me and for giving me the chance to give myself to something so completely that I do not walk away from it at 5pm because my day was done. I am honored to be a daughter, a carer and a Mother to my Mother. I have been given so many wonderful opportunities in the past two years that I would of never experienced before in my life if it hadn’t of been for a great tragedy. But now as I watch the waves batter at the shore I know that I. Am. The lucky one.

Peace x

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Roundabouts and rollercoasters

She hates you.

A phrase I have heard before and thought many times myself. I remember screaming it at my parents when I was young, probably more times than I would like to remember. Over petty things like not being able to go out, not being given the money I wanted, not being given what I wanted for my birthday. Screaming at my parents ‘I hate you.’ I’ve heard children do it as well. Exasperated parents of teenagers listening to their own flesh and blood say ‘I hate you’ with malice in their eyes. I was once one of them, I joined the ranks of parent haters all around the world and now in some cruel twist of fate I am that parent.

Martha has been on edge all weekend, we have both been up and down, round and round it feels like at any moment I could be flung from a roundabout on to a roller coaster plummeting towards earth with no end in sight. Tonight we hit a tipping point, as I showered, brushed my teeth and moisturized Martha’s brain was devising a story about me. As I emerged bright eyed from the bathroom and into the laundry I got two paces before realizing I was stuck. A door that opens towards me and has no lock was not opening.

 ‘Ah, Martha, can you let me out?’

A defiant ‘NO’, I began to pull on the door and managed to get it slightly open. My hand now between the door; and Martha pulling harder towards her. Both of us fighting the war of the door.

‘I hate you’ she screams, ‘I hate you, you need to get out of my house, you don’t belong here’

My brain races, ‘yeah well, I hate you too’ I think.

I finally get outside the door and she storms the five paces to her own room, I am right behind her and manage to stand between the door and the frame before she can slam it.

‘I’ll scream the house down, get out, GET OUT’

At this moment I feel lost. My brain is going a hundred miles an hour;

  • If I leave her alone will she be more agitated?
  • If I stay will she get more agitated?
  • Should I call the crisis line?
  • Should I call an ambulance?
  • Would more medication calm her?
  • Is she sick?
  • Is she tired?
  • Will she hurt herself if I leave her alone?
  • Will she hurt me?
  • Is she safe?
  • Am I safe?

‘I’m waiting for my Shaany and my Kyrin.’

Tears start to stream and she shows no empathy for me, she is annoyed I am sitting in her room, on her bed.

My voice is calm but shaky as I fight my way through emotions bubbling on the surface, ‘Martha, do you want to tell me about Shaan and Kyrin?’

She closes her eyes and I don’t know if she is pretending to sleep or not but I am grateful eitherway. I stand up and turn off the lights and as I leave the room I whisper; ‘Goodnight Mum, I love you.’ I hear her murmur ‘love you too’ and I step into darkness.

e

KBx

We danced

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Tonight I spied on you as you sang at the top of your lungs to Rod Stewart. You had turned the lights out and watched as Rod Stewart played piano and sung on stage across the screen.

You swayed your hips like you were there in the crowd and it reminded me of your 50th birthday when we danced in the neighbors garage to your brothers records and laughed the whole night. I was young, only 13 and I never knew that there would be a day when I would cling to that memory like it was the last thing on earth.

I came in to join you and we danced. Holding hands as you swirled under my arm and we moved to Rod Stewarts cover of Have I told you lately that I loved you.. You sung and bent your head back as you did letting the words flow from your mouth.  You knew every single word and you moved in time to those words. It felt as though I had skipped back in time to when I was 13, surrounded by family and friends, holding your hand and dancing with you. You didn’t miss a beat and I thought my face was going to crack from how wide my smile was.

The song ended and you needed a rest. Off to bed, tucked in, I sat on your bed and held your hand.

Love you, Mum

You replied, I love you very much..

xx

(Have I told you lately that I love youhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ4NAZPi2js )

Are you my Mother?

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Oh and where are you from?

I’m from Tauranga

I lived in Tauranga for a longggg time

Really, what did you do there?

Oh you know, this and that and who is your Mum and Dad?

Well, Martha, it’s a long story, I’ll tell you another time

This day has been building for a while, it started small forgetting how to spell my name, forgetting my name and occasionally forgetting who I am, but eventually coming round and knowing. But today as we sat and I made her a cup of tea and bought her breakfast she was interested to know who I was.

This time, unlike the others I didn’t shed any tears, I held myself and smiled at her as if it was completely normal. We just shared information. I told her my name and what I do. I told her we met a very long time ago, almost thirty years ago. This amazed Martha.

Then as she got up and went to the bathroom and I was alone for a moment I felt the weight of my life shroud me and I said a quiet goodbye to my Mother. A few moments later she came back and sat down and we started again. I held her hand and kissed it, asked her what she wanted to do today. We smiled at each and she asked if I was cold as she handed me her wheatbag.

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Love x