Yesterday I hit a bit of a wall with everything. Emotionally, not physically. (I’ve learnt my lesson after the tin of tuna. Walls are brutal). My hubby is very aware of my need, in life, to be the problem solver. I can’t solve this difficult situation. Having my Bugsy home yesterday was much needed. “Babe, you’re in denial. You need to accept it. It is what it is.” I am very much in denial. He’s always right, that sounding board of mine. “It is what it is,” is the life coping mechanism that my hubby lives by. He always asks me “Can you change it?.” I know I can’t, so I also know that he’s right and the only way is forward. Love my husband and his grounding so much. He knows the moment I ring for help, is the moment I accept my Dad will never be the same man again. I’ve not made the call yet. But I will.

I have my baby girl here for the weekend. Her lovely Al is away in London, so she’s staying. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it was to wake up this morning, knowing all my babies were around me. Hats in her old room. Lou, the Leo, in his. My two fur babies surrounding me. It felt like Christmas morning to me, I can’t ask for much more than this. I know that people will laugh, as most of them know that Hats only lives about a mile away, in another part of town. It’s just such a lovely energy to have my Aquarius sleeping in the room beside me. On a week day, she arrives at 7.30am to get ready for work. She’s back here after work, until she goes home to cook dinner for her and Al. I know my homing pigeon must irritate Al, but I absolutely love how she’s always around.

I have always been the same with my parents. Bugsy and I, at 18, left home and rented a flat in Exeter. After a year, we came back, bought our first house and settled in Honiton. It was really important for me to be near my parents when we started our family, I’m so grateful that Bugsy respected this. We’re living in our 6th purchase, I’m not moving again!

Yesterday, when Bugs and I got to my parents’, again, I could see how tired my Dad was. They’d gone to the Mind meeting that day with their friend. I had phoned in the morning and Mum said that Dad seemed happy to go. In the afternoon, I could see that it had taken its toll on Dad’s energy. As we sat there, Dad was needing lots of reassurance about forth coming appointments etc. With his inability to process time, any Doctor’s appointment creates a feeling of uneasiness, as Dad can’t establish when it will be taking place. Again, the analogy of a stroke being like a fire in the brain, always makes me visualise burnt out pathways in Dad’s brain. Pathways of importance, pathways of old, habitual routines, pathways of simple processes we take for granted. These damaged pathways break my absolute heart.

I need to make myself smile… So I’ll bring the attention to Mum again. On Thursday, she told me that she’d been on the phone to an old friend. This friend shall remain nameless. (Sorry, Gini, you’ve heard about this before. Apologies for the repeat! Xxx). My Mum told me that her friend “suggested” my Mum took driving lessons and learnt to drive again?!!!! The worrying thing was that Mum was actually considering this! I’ve not met this friend of Mum’s for years, it’s a good job!! Mum was asking me if driving lessons were something she could consider? Ummmmmm, let me have a think about this………No!!!! I don’t actually think there is any Driving Instructor in East Devon, prepared to take early retirement after a stint with my Mum! When I was 17, I don’t remember my Instructor ever showing me the dashboard polishing method at 70mph! This seemed to escape me, but it was obviously something my Mum picked up over the years! This conversation over driving came on the day that Bugs and I had presented a new insurance policy, without my Mum as a named driver of the infamous Vauxhall Viva… I hate this car!! Luckily, it has taken my hubby to work today, so I get a day off from driving the lawn mower.

One thing my Mum, the Virgo, can be described as, is determined. She always has been, I love her for this. Just not in the case of revocation of her licence. The other day, as I was driving my parents home from town, she was telling me how useful Dad had been when she was driving. Useful?? … “Dad was always telling me when it was okay to pull out of a junction etc…” I always feel that when Mum is defending her right to drive, she’s only serving to incriminate herself further. I told her that Dad, the passenger, should never have needed to inform of indicators, pulling out of junctions, other cars!! I really do not envy the Driving Instructor who turns up to put this 78 year old teenager through her paces!…

It is so difficult to deal with Mum. She doesn’t see the changes in her brain, she thinks all is well, however, things have not been well for over 2 years, or more. I look back and wonder how different life would be, right now, if Dad was well. However, even this arouses guilt, as I know he’d be doing his absolute best to care for her, exhaustively, whilst life continued around him. My Dad’s stroke was my wake up call to take control of the situation. I’m definitely aware that I have my Mum’s determination in me.



4 thoughts on “Determination.

  1. Just as well you have your Mum’s determination – it’s the only thing keeping you uprightnat times, I suspect! And Clive’s mantra ‘it is what it is’, is a good one – my Mum also believed that and it helped her deal with the various physical and mental challenges of her latter years. But acceptance is hard.

    Your post has reminded me of the Kahlil Gibran poem, ‘The Prophet’ – there is a section in it that gives advice on the relationship between parents and children. It made me think that, not only do parents find it hard to let their children ‘go’ (as we know, they never really go – the relationship just transitions) but children find it equally hard to let their parents ‘go’. Both are transitional, transformative moments and neither can be avoided. You are now at that transitional place with your parents and, as you say, the only way is forward. I admire you, Soph, for your honesty about how you are reacting to this change – you are enormously clear-sighted amid the confusion.

    And I loved hearing the story of your Mum’s ‘friend’s’ suggestion that your Mum have driving lessons……utterly mad!!!!!! A. Wreck would be booking his place in the as-yet-unbuilt facility behind us immediately!! Enjoy your weekend with all your babies around you, fur and otherwise. xxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gini, once again, your words give me a boost. Thank you xxx Yes, I totally agree with the idea of children finding it equally hard to let go of their parents.

      A. Wreck makes me laugh! I’m now imagining this poor person! … Had the world of Driving Instructing at their feet. All over in one lesson of dashboard dusting and arrogance! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


  2. It certainly is what it is (great maxim)
    ‘we are what we is – a cow don’t make ham’ to quote Mr Zappa

    I was very lucky to have my brothers and sister aroun me when we decided about dads residential care
    Since his passing that unity is broken
    You Need to write that book – cannot wait to go to Marbella

    Liked by 1 person

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