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The story

The long goodbye

Love Matters by Maree Jones

Love Matters by Maree Jones

 

I hear the bell; I wake from my sleep,

I think, “Is it really the bell or the chimes out back,

Or maybe I dreamt it?”

I listen for the rustle of sheets or the sound of her voice.

I drag myself from my warm bed, I see my mum awake in her bed.

Sometimes she will greet me with a smile and a ‘hello darling’

Sometimes she will be confused and not aware of much,

Sometimes she will talk but I won’t understand what she says

Sometimes she will have a little chuckle to herself.

I help her to the commode,

Sometimes she can move okay; other times she is stiff and immobile.

Sometimes she will say ‘I can’t move’,

Sometimes I say ‘yes, you can, give it a try; I will help you’.

And sometimes in the morning when she can’t move,

I give her medication.

It takes about an hour to work, to get her mobile, so she can move her frail body by herself.

Sometimes while we are waiting for this, I sit on her bed.

Sometimes we talk,

Sometimes she is scared;

Scared for the future, the unknown, and what it may bring her;

How her dementia will progress, the memories of her own mother’s senility haunting her.

I tell her not to worry. We will be here.

Dad and I, we will look after her.

I try to reassure her, to allay her fears.

Sometimes I reflect on the past, on how she was when she was younger,

How she lovingly brought up us four children,

How she helped us bring up our children.

Giving us all unending amounts of love,

Unconditional love, warmth, reassurance, encouragement,

Setting an example of how to be a mum: how to love your kids,

Showing us that love matters more than anything.

I am grateful for this opportunity to be with her, to help her, to love her.

I hear that song in my head…

“a time to be born, a time to die,

To everything, there is a season, turn, turn,

A time to reap, a time to sow, a time to dance, a time to mourn”

I know everything has its time.