My mum never ceases to amaze me!
Having written about my offspring who are so cruel and negative, I have to say that I think my mum has got to be the human being I love most in all this world, (running in equal place, I think, with my sister J). Over the years she has gone out of her way to help me, give me guidance and wisdom too. She’s the first one I pick up the phone to if I’m upset or especially happy. She can read me like a book, and me, her too. She has got me out of financial trouble, propped me up through failing and broken relationships and picked up the pieces when I’ve laid shattered to smithereens at basement level. She puts up with my crazy Borderline Personality Disorder, all my disabilities, my waxing and waning anorexia and every flaw I have (of which there are many!).
We weren’t always this close…as a child, she was quite cruel and unkind to me at times. She suffered a mental health problem which rendered her a less capable mum than she could have been. but she is a million miles away from all that now. I guess we’ve both ‘mellowed’, like a good red wine. We talk on the phone every day though we can rarely see each other as we live in different parts of the country and neither of us can get to the other on our own.
I have so much admiration for her – she packs more into a day than I could pack into a very large suitcase, and she’s 84 so ‘getting on a bit’, not that she lets that affect her one bit although she’s not so sprightly on her pins as she used to be. She does her own shopping, thorough housework (puts me to shame!), gardening and even still lugs the old lawnmower up from the basement steps to mow her lawn.
Her mind is as sharp as a pin – she does The Times crossword everyday and finishes it and can even do the cryptic one which has always defeated me! She remembers all the documentaries she’s ever seen; refuses point blank to watch ‘soaps’ (but then I agree on that one).
She lives alone, having divorced my evil and very cruel father who sexually abused and raped me all through my childhood. He has now passed on (thank the Lord). I forgave briefly before he died, as a Christian because I believe that is what is right (for me, anyway). Mum’s humble abode is a somewhat ramshackle, ancient house which she keeps spotless.
You may be asking yourself, “Well, what has all this got to do with ladders?” Well, she has a habit of not thinking about the risks when she’s climbing ladders which is quite an odd but frequent task for her. The living room ceiling is 10 ft high and has a light fitting with five bulbs in it which are forever blowing. She thinks nothing of climbing a ladder which reaches this ceiling at regular intervals, whether it be to change a bulb, hang a curtain (or dangle from the chandeliers!). well, perhaps not the latter but I wouldn’t put it past her! She’s the same in her garden, pruning high bushes or cutting hedges and in the kitchen, searching for lost items in the top cupboards, then forgetting what she went up there for! I think we’ve all done that to some degree. when I try to tactfully tell that it is a tad dangerous at her age, she carries on regardless!
So, I worry about her all the time.. I’ve tried to talk her into wearing an alert alarm on a pendant like mine or as a wrist strap for my peace of mind if nothing else. But no, she steadfastly and stubbornly refuses. I dread the days when I get no reply on the phone. The worst case scenario plays over and over in my mind and then when i finally reach her she nonchalantly says “Oh, I was in the top room/basement/garden” and there’s me having ‘kittens’!
So all things considered i.e. a hearing aid in each ear, strong glasses, severe cataracts, a stick for walking as her legs have never been the same since she got hypothermia while up a ladder in the freezing cold, pruning the Pyracantha bush which is 8 ft high! She has so much grit and determination! (I wondered where I got that from!!).
I can’t imagine surviving my life without her, and I know it is inevitable eventually and I know my world will fall apart; I will have lost my best friend and the greatest Mum ever!