Sorry for any typos or shitty writing in general, I find it hard to constantly read back over my words. It’s very much written on the fly.
How different would my life be if my Mum didn’t have Alzheimer’s Disease? We could meet up over food or simply watch a movie together. We’d do some arts and crafts, go to a concert or just talk about life like we used to.
I miss her. I miss her so much my heart feels like it’s been hammered and disfigured when I even contemplate thinking of how it could have been. If I allow those thoughts to flood in, I will drown.
I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up, but my Mum was the most important. She taught me how to be creative on a budget and how to use my brain and my hands to make gifts or decorate the house.
My Mum embodies the Christmas spirit. My favourite day of the year was always decoration day. We’d spend hours together unboxing the decorations that had been in the family for years and unwrapping the new ones. I’d turn the Christmas music up loud and she’d tell me to turn it down. She’d constantly want tea breaks and I never understood why. Now I’m older, I get it.
All of my special Christmas memories are the ones that she created and made special. She spoilt us, even though she didn’t have much to give. Even now, when I try and re-create those moments of pure joy, I can’t. It’s not the same and it never will be.
I see other Mothers and Daughters together, gossiping, talking about their day, celebrating life events and it makes me feel bitter, angry, hurt and lost.
I feel bitter that, even though it’s not their fault, no one understands. It pisses me off that people take their Mum’s for granted. When someone complains about their Mum, I just want to shake them to make them realise the gift they currently have, that will one day be taken away.
My Mum loves children and raising us three was her number one priority. If I have a child, I won’t have a ‘nagging’ Mum showing me how it’s done, I won’t have a babysitter or someone to give me guidance. It almost makes me not want a child. I’m too scared.
We’re on an island here in my family. There’s not many of us. Mum lost all of her friends when she started developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Not one of them came to see her, sent her a card, or gave a shit about her. I guess they weren’t real friends. Her best friend now is an Alzheimer’s Society support worker who brings my Mum so much joy and happiness.
Alzheimer’s Disease scares people away, and that very fact brings me so much fucking anger I can’t even verbalise it. Alzheimer’s Disease is incredibly isolating for the sufferer and the family. It’s the time when help, support, and friendship are needed more than ever. I think it’s partly the reason I’m so addicted to social media because I’m constantly reaching out for something else.
It’s why I write about it.
It’s why I sing about it.
Because it’s shit and it consumes me.
I had 26 years with my Mum before the cruelty of Alzheimer’s Disease affected the dynamic of our relationship. That’s not long enough. It’s nowhere near long enough. It’s not fucking long enough!
Even on my wedding day, she wasn’t herself. I was only 25 and I was already losing her.
I speak to my Mum every day, I see her five days a week, but I also don’t see her at all.
I’m the baby. I’m her baby.
I’m lost and lonely and I just want my Mummy back.
Music is everything to me, and I owe a big part of that to my Mum. She loves music too.
She gave me Fleetwood Mac, Carly Simon, Black Sabbath, The Beatles, Tears for Fears, Gloria Estefan and she always encouraged my tastes in music, no matter how weird they got.
Next week I’ll be performing at an Alzheimer’s Society Carol Concert and I’ll be singing to her, for her. I’m singing a song by Fleetwood Mac that every time it comes on in my car brings a tear to her eye. It sparks an emotion in her that I’m not even sure she understands.
That’s the power of music.
I hope she’ll be proud of me because and I’m so proud of her. So proud to call her my Mum. This beautifully kind and funny human being who took a lot of shit throughout her life and didn’t deserve any of it.
I started listening to Homogenic by Bjork while I was doing the dishes, and it sparked tears I couldn’t control which led me to write this. That album reminds me of the time Mum was officially diagnosed and I started to battle depression for the first time. It’s a double-edged sword. A beautiful piece of art, but an emotional torture if I’m caught in the wrong mood.
That’s the power of music.
I don’t have a positive angle to this piece of writing. I can’t come up with the hook that’s going to make it all seem Ok because it’s not.
But here’s a beautiful song about love that brings me some level of comfort in my dark moments.