Friday, July 10, 2009

Emotionally moving on

Yesterday was quite a profound day.A huge amount of papers, cards, old bills and letters to go through.
Many things learnt from reading old family letters from the old country.
Revelations about how mum could not be with her mother when she was dying, how desperate the family was to get in contact with her. Finding the letter advising my mum of her mother's death and my father's mother's death notice - all so sad.
Neither mum nor dad went back overseas to be with their families at these times.
Dad never went back overseas, ever, and mum only went back once with me when I was 21.
I found a short story about dads life that he had written and many bits and pieces from times that I remember.
Very little stuff about us - me or my brother - it was all about their life which was entwined in the Polish community.
I felt very melancholy last night and hubby did something special by finding a phone contact to family members we had not seen in 19 years from Poland.
SO he called them on a off chance we all fell over each other with delight to be in contact again. I told them about my mum ( as this is the only family I have left in Poland that know )and we promised to keep in contact with each other.
I have been cleaning the kitchen and washing and removing things that should have been removed years ago.

It is a pity that most of my mother's lfe will end up in a skip or a bin as it is virtually worthless to anyone else other than her and she will no longer be needing it.
Her shit reminded her of her life and it was important to her - this I have to respect even if I find no value in these items myself.
In fact it was all that she had, but in the scheme of things there is nothing worth anything in the material sense.
Old people keep everything - pens, rubber bands, plastic bands, lids, old papers....notes with reminders of names and addresses, dates and times..

Mum was more settled when I visited with her today - yet as I sat there she actually forgot that I was there and was asking after me.
Then she thought she was at home and told me to go and make myself a sandwich.
I also bought her some cordial for her water and she proceeded to show me the bottle after about five minutes telling me that she had just been to the shops to get that for me...
They say that at this point there is no reason to try and convince them of anything else ...there is no point in making them anxious about the mistakes that they are making..they no longer understand, and when they do realise that they are confused...they cry..


Jen said...

Wow, what an incredibly healing time for you that must have been Renata.

I remember my nanna when she had dementia. She would ask me how my mum was. Who was sitting next to her, her daughter. She had no idea who i was. Very upsetting, but she was being bright and polite. The brain is such a complex machine.... just love her.

Sending love to you all


Lisa said...

so sad, my heart goes out to you

Kerry said...

Your in my thoughts Renata.

As i have offered before, if there is anything i can do to help you with understanding dementia, or coping with it, please don't hesitate to ask.

Keep well. Such a hard thing for you to be going through, but on the upside, how awesome that you got to have contact with other family memebers.


Michelle said...

I dont know what to say...just sending love xxx

Hippy Witch said...

I am thinking of you and sending you love

Tania said...

Finding out about family history, insights into thoughts and feelings from those times is wonderful. I am sorry it was under these circumstances though.


Kathleen said...

Thinking of you xxxx

Cyndy said...

It's such a difficult task, isn't it? How do you take a lifetime, and condense it down to a room? Especially when we don't have any real insight as to what will be significant, because it hasn't been our life. And who knows whether the memories from earlier in your mum's life are the ones that she should be encouraged to remember? And "they" are right: just go along with what your mum tells you, and be whomever she thinks you are. There's no point in confusing her more by trying to re-orientate her.

I've just spent the last few weeks going through my mum's stuff, and most of it really was only suitable to be thrown out as there was just so much of it.... a childhood of deprivation will encourage an adulthood full of excess, I supppose. The job's not finished yet, either. But as exhausting as mum's stuff has been, I am really dreading the clean-up after dad......

Just one day at a time, Renata, that's all you can do.