Monday, May 11, 2009

Talking about my mum

I put up a post yesterday, then deleted it. I need a bit more time to ponder things. I'll tell you about it later. A trait that hubby has never truly appreciated about it me (for understandable reasons) but there you have it.

We'd had a really busy day on Mother's Day. The care and feeding of Juno of course. She's not eating as much as we think she should and so we're trying to figure out what to do. Then he had to leave to pick up his mum at the ferry and I had to wait for the dog to wake up from her nap, get her fed, make sure she eliminated OUTSIDE, and shower, get all dolled up for My Mother's Story show, and tidy up the place. Then when they arrived, we crated the dog, I went to pick up mum ( I called ahead to make sure she looked presentable) and then we all went for lunch nearby. We had a good time, of course not mentioning that DH and MIL were going to see the show. I had decided earlier that it was best that she didn't attend this year's show. Her attention span isn't very long these days and the show runs 90 minutes straight. And half hour before the show, all the actresses are serving cookies and things to all the arriving guests (mothers, daughters, sons) and it would be too much. Then DH had to scramble to get his mum back to the ferries at 7pm and he wouldn't have time to take her back to the home and of course, one of us had to get back to the dog. So as you can imagine, I was a bit emotional about presenting a story about my mum's life and she wasn't there in attendance. DH always takes care of her and takes her to see my shows, but let's face it, with my mum it's all about her, and for once, I wanted him to spend time with his own own mum (who had come from Victoria to see us) uninterrupted. We are the only children here for our mums so sometimes we get a little stretched thin.

Turns out it was a good call, cause mum did get a little antsy at lunch, pretty sure she got a little drunk on white wine and we had to go for a little walkabout. I dropped her off with a bunch of roses and immediately had to head out to the theatre as I had to be there 2 hours before the show. The traffic of course on Granville Island was horrific (beautiful sunny day on Mother's Day) but I was only 10 minutes late so it all worked out.

My Mother's Story, is an amalgam of 20 different stories from Vancouver actresses about their mothers. This is one of the stories I told about my mum:

"After moving here to live with me, my mother had a stroke on her way to do some extra work on I, Robot. She was eventually diagnosed with dementia and I had to put her into residential care. One day, I picked her up at the home to find that a loving aide had braided her hair and put little artificial flowers in it. My mum was dressed in orange that day and by chance I arrived dressed in my favourite orange outfit. My mum and I walked down Robson Street, amidst the busy shoppers, hand in hand. As I looked over at her, with me leading her through the streams of people , I realized that I now knew what it must have felt to be her leading me, as a child, down a busy street: watchful, protective, proud that she looked so cute with flowers in her hair and in an outfit that matched mine. It was like time stood still and I had become the "mother" and she, all 69 years of her (now she's 74), had become the "daughter". This is a woman who, for most of my life, I could not be in the same room with, always ran from, always tried not to be like. Our bond is deep, undeniable, and inescapable. But really, who am I kidding? She is and always will the the "mother" and I will always be her child."

Yeah, I was a little emotional after the show. We all are. Felt a bit guilty that I had practically dumped her back at the home and took off to the theatre. She has seen the show, twice before. Still. I think this is what it's like when women drop their children at daycare to go to work. You want to be there for your loved ones, the ones who depend on you, but sometimes you just can't. You have to do what you have to do. Even if it's an hour to have a peaceful hour at the spa. Luckily, she's got dementia! And like a 3 year old, she's got a short memory! HAHAHAH. I just made fun of my demented mother. That's another show.


Beautiful Mess said...

I think you have a beautiful relationship with your mum. You care for her so deeply> I can only imagine how hard it is for you, how much it hurts. But you do it so gracefully. I wish I had half as much grace as you.
Hugs, dear friend.

loribeth said...

Sounds like a fabulous show, not to mention a busy day. I know you know your mother won't know the difference, but it's hard not to feel guilty sometimes. (((hugs)))

annacyclopedia said...

I love the image of you and your mom, both dressed in orange, walking together down Robson. Even though I know a little bit about how complicated the emotions can get around dementia (not to mention our own forms of family dysfunction), your love and care for her shine through so clearly.

I wish I could have been there to see the show - sounds amazing.

Wordgirl said...


I recognize that image -- you've written it before here, yes? It is one of my favorites of yours -- so striking -- and rises in my memory each time you talk about your mum.

My mom. Yikes. There's so much there, isn't there? Moms. We are inextricably tied to them -- sometimes I think my entire life is about figuring out how to honor the wonderful parts of her and escape the not so wonderful parts. No matter what I always end up feeling guilty.

I so admire the heart that you come to your mother with -- yes, you protect yourself, but you give her such openness.

You are a wonderful daughter.



Sheri said...

I loved your story and the way you compared and contrasted your time with your mother now, compared to when you were younger. It's interesting how we switch roles throughout our lives.

It reminds me of the quote by George Washington Carver, "How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all these."

Guera! said...

I can only hope for a daughter like the one your mum has. She is so fortunate and I hope that she has moments of clarity in which she realizes that.