Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Missed opportunities

Apologies for the picture if it causes anyone any distress, but I think it only fair to share both sides of the coin with you all. Not always a laughing and smiling face. Recently she has been bed bound, and this is unlikely to change. Seeing the gardens and blue skies just outside her window, but unable to rise from her bed is absolute torture for her to endure and me to be so helpless.

As I sit by mums bedside, seeing her fading in and out, be it sleep or consciousness (hard to tell at this time) I think back to all the opportunities that have passed without acting on them. Now too tired and weak to get out of bed, the frustration is building inside. On the flip side, she is now so weak that she is unable to vent these frustration, so there is very little ranting going on these days.

So back to these opportunities. All along this three and a half year journey there have been suggestions, chances, and opportunities presenting themselves, and so few have been grasped. If you read back a few years the first thing I wanted so badly was for her to see her sister. If it was for the last time, or the first of many times, I just wanted that contact to be made. But it didn't happen. Excuses, reasons and situations were presented at every step of the way, poor health, discomfort, bad timing, I'll do it later etc were all used to prevent her having to commit to a trip to see her sister, my aunt.
My aunt who is also going through a battle with breast cancer, would have loved to have seen mum, and I'm sure mum really would have liked to have seen her too. However now, I can honestly say we are well past the point of that ever happening now. My last resort is to set up a webcam chat for them, but at this time I don't have the equipment for that to do it at both ends.
Mum never saw her other sister before she died, so this is quite a bitter moment for me, having to finally concede defeat in this particular battle, to get the two remaining sisters together before they pass.

Other ideas such as creating things for the grandchildren have also fallen on deaf ears. Being given the chance to do pottery, painting etc in St Christophers, were great chances for mum to make little trinkets for the kids to cherish. Again this was snubbed and the opportunity has passed.

One of the biggest things that I am sad to see not happen, and unlikely to happen as things stand, is mum and Sian meeting again. That's not to say Sian would have wanted to see mum like this, I realise its a big thing for such a young girl, but even to be around and aware for this would have been a relief for all, and long term I think beneficial for Sian. Sadly progress of making contact with Sian has been slow, so the clock is ticking for a quality meeting of the two.

There are so many more things in my mind that I would loved to have helped her achieve, a day trip to France would have been wonderful, but she always refused to sign a passport application. A trip further afield would have been fantastic, but again barriers about her health arose. Having seen a few countries, I know she would have enjoyed the air, the sights and the cultures. She was always reading about faraway places, and fondly commenting on how beautiful they were, ironically one of her favourites was Miami, Florida, thanks to CSI Miami and their lovely coastline shots.

But as I look up I remember that quite frankly all the money in the world could not help achieve any of the above. Seeing mum laying here sleeping once again, a restful look on her face, discomfort aside. Waking her, moving or disturbing her would seem so unfair.
The furthest her mind dreams of going now is just outside for a cigarette, how our horizons change.

Really all I can do is live in the now, and help her achieve the best possible time. Working a way to get her into a wheelchair would be heaven for me and her right now, but with as little distress as possible. Will her condition improve from here? Will she just continue to deteriorate? So many other questions remain, but just cannot be answered. One day at a time, grasping each chance as it presents, and making every possible moment a quality moment.

Sitting by mums side now puts things in perspective for me. There are two sides of this, one being another loved one passing away. A terrible few years, and still more to come with aunty being ill, but one at a time. The other side is to appreciate what is important, and what a priority is. With all my woes, money, work health etc getting me down, sitting here I am at peace. They don't exist, don't concern me one bit. My priority lays here (literally). I know they need dealing with, and I won't shun my responsibilities towards them, but in this moment, mum is all I care about.

I have always looked at scenes of people sitting by the bedside of loved ones as they sleep, and wondered what the point is, but now I think I understand it, finally. Knowing you offer security and comfort to them when they come round or awaken. That they will open their eyes to see a loved one there with them. And also for yourself. Inner conversations, considerations and peace. OK so I'm sitting here 'passing time' writing this blog, seems a little cold... But its not, its almost therapeutic to be here, connected, resting my mind of all worries, and being able to dig deep and open up like this. It is actually a precious moment for me, and one this entry will help me cherish.

So for now I will leave it there. It could be weeks or months before anything happens, or with mums track record she could be able to get in a chair tomorrow, who knows..... Tomorrow is another day, the sun will rise, and another day of opportunities will begin :)

Thanks for reading
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1 comment:

  1. It's only whenever you see a life slipping away you realise how many opportunities have been missed. But that's true for everyone. You're going through a really hard time now and you should be really proud of yourself and how you're handling it. Even getting out of bed is a major achievement at the minute. I'm sure your mom is proud to have a son like you. x