My Family & Other Animals

Sunday, 26 June 2016

To sleep, perchance to dream....

Hello Gentle Reader, not a long post really, more a chance to let you know why I have once again been absent from my blog.
At the beginning of May my mum died. I know it's been a while but now I am able to talk about it, its still very raw and very painful.
To say we had a complicated past would be an epic understatement. For starters she was actually my Auntie! My mum's brother and his wife divorced and for whatever reasons they may have had, they couldn't for the life of them work out which one wanted me less and so I ended up living with his sister and her family. This was my Auntie Betty, Uncle Llew (or Lou if you prefer), Stephen and Lorraine, their two children and Kim (their psychotic dog!).
I did struggle to call them mum and dad, it wasn't that I didn't want too but my new big sister (cousin actually) threatened me that if I even thought about calling them mum and dad..... use your imagination, she was on the threshold of her teens when I came along and what pre-tween girl welcomes someone else's baby into their parent's arms (we have worked through all that and she even calls me 'bro' now, love ya sis x). To compound the situation Kim was notoriously vicious with a temper that could turn on a dime, so he was replaced by Dolphie, a miniature Poodle!!!
I think Mum and Dad where a little uncomfortable when I first stopped calling them Auntie and Uncle. Gone were the adopted monikers of Auntie Betty and Uncle Lou, but after a few shaky starts we got to the point where they really were my parents, not my aunt and uncle any more.
They were the only parents I had ever known and while my birth parents are still alive, I started to see the whole thing in black and white terms, our relationship had changed and had grown into that of parent and child not Legal Guardians and child!
Time has passed since those days, Dad died very suddenly and unexpectedly and he left a massive hole in all our lives. Mum managed on her own for quite a while until her first big stroke put her in a home, it was then my sister decided she wanted mum under her roof, she wanted to care for her, not a bunch of strangers! 
Things came to a head though when it all got to be too much for my sister to cope with on her own. Mum had terrible health issues including a stroke or two and quite a lot of mini-strokes, she had dementia and she would bruise like a Georgia peach if you brushed past her with a feather boa!!
So she went to live in a home in the same village as my sis, this allowed her time to visit mum each day for as long as she wanted but she also managed to get some of her own life back as well.
Mum may have struggled to remember what she had had for lunch that day but she always recognised her kids whenever we came to see her.
She had the biggest, loveliest smile I have ever seen, the kind that made your heart smile and your soul sing along. She spent a lot of time telling you the same thing, over and over, but she was never boring to be around. She would shrug her shoulders, grin, point at you and say 'you're mine' and off we would be able to go, remembering something else from our shared history.
We would reminisce about dancing the jive together in the living room, something she couldn't persuade my dad to do. I used to go to Ballet, Modern and Tap lessons every week and she was so proud of me, especially at competition time when I was the only lad there and I  used to win loads of medals and awards.
As a ruse to stay up late at the weekends I used to kneel behind her and I would offer to comb her hair. I will never understand the pleasure she took from those times, but I used to love it because dad was either out or had gone to bed and we used to talk about all sorts of things, plus she had me there to stop herself getting scared when we would watch the latest Friday night horror movie double bill on BBC2. She would always say "ten more minutes and then it's bedtime" but it's amazing how often those ten minutes turned into hours if she was enjoying herself,

but that has all changed now, forever.

I no longer have her there to reminisce with but all I have to do is think of her and I see that smile, the only thing that is getting me through this at the moment.

I know I said it wouldn't be a long post but you should know me by now, I never do anything by halves!

So Gentle Reader, take care and I hope to be back with you in the very near future.
My son gets married in two weeks, so that has given me something positive to look forward to, I will put a couple of pictures up when it happens.
So until then, ltake care of yourselves and have a big kiss and hug from me
(go on, while I'm in a giving mood!!).
Love 'n Stuff,
x o x o