My Mum seems sad these days. Around 10 years ago she and my father sold the family home and moved into a granny flat at the back of my sister's place. It seemed like a good idea at the time but on reflection it probably wasn't. Whilst most of their friends and neighbours had moved from the area by the time they left, the old place was still home and I think when you leave memories behind you die a little.
Dad passed away in August 2004 and although he and Mum had their problems they also loved each other and I think she's been very lonely ever since. As the time continues to pass others with whom she shared her life have also passed away. Three years ago it was Mum's sister, in January this year, her sister-in-law, and now her older brother is in hospital having suffered a heart attack and stroke in the past few weeks.
If I feel the loss of those past generations of family how must she feel when it is her generation that is leaving this life.
Mum had an operation on her spine last year because she has osteo porosis and osteo arthritis and it has given her a little more freedom of movement but not a lot of relief from pain. She can still drive and get around but it is becoming more difficult. When she loses that mobility I fear that she will decide to give up and I also fear (as I do with most birthdays, christmases, and aniversaries, these days that she may not be around for another one).
This Sunday is Mother's Day and I will be visiting her in the morning. My sisters have invited me for dinner but I have to work in the afernoon. I am hoping my youngest daughter will come with me but she told me this morning that she didn't want to go because "she's not my mother and I want to spend the day with my Mum." I'll keep working on her because I know Mum will be disappointed if she doesn't see her. My oldest daughter and second son have said that they will go over in the afternoon and my oldest son is doing officer training in the Army and is out on exercise at the moment, so he won't even have access to a phone.
Mum has always had a terrible singing voice and she acknowledges it, but as I was growing up I remember she would often sing this song -
M is for the million things she gave me
O is that she's only growing old
T is for the tears she shed to save me
H is for her heart as pure as gold
E is for her eyes with love-light shining
R is right or wrong she'll always be
Put them altogether
They spell Mother
The one who means the world to me
I love you Mum.