Mum, Dad, I Missed You Both Today
We were caring for you for more than twenty years, but what went on in those last few years? I feel as though we lost touch with the people you were. We were so busy with caring duties, we never had time for proper conversations with you.
Catering for your needs took over our lives. Shopping, running you to the hospital for appointments, and repairing all the things you so easily broke. Do you remember all the toilet seats we replaced, four in one year alone, and that was on top of you, Dad, knocking the radiator off the wall with your motorized wheelchair. We were also busy sorting out personal accidents like wet bedding and carpets. Fortunately they were only occasional occurrences.
Meals-on-wheels were welcomed until you, Mum, wanted them liquidized like baby food. After a couple of weeks on this chosen version, you said you didn’t want them like this any more. Could you have the same ones dad was getting? Of course, you could. No, you’ve changed your mind again, liquidized was best, for a few weeks at least until you wanted proper food again. You also hated anything green in your food, but dad would wolf everything down without complaint. You both loved your cakes and puddings though.
You only had me and my husband to rely on, and I depended on my husband too. I never learned to drive and so it was my wonderful husband, not me, who did the running around for you. I mainly just went with him.
He has serious heart problems too, but went out of his way to ensure you had everything you needed. Even when you rang up late one night and said you had no toilet rolls and thought you might need them, he went out on his own for you without complaint. He was already in his pajamas too and had to get dressed again. When he put them in your bathroom he saw the other two packs of four sitting there. We knew then, you just wanted re-assuring. You needed to see we’d be there if you wanted us. We understood your insecurity, it happens in old age.
Well, we were there for you. We didn’t feel we could go away on holiday and leave you, but eventually, after several years without a holiday, we needed a break. When we said we’d be going away for a short mid-week break, mum said she’d have to go to the doctors. When we asked what was wrong, she said she wanted to make sure she wouldn’t be ill while we were away. This sounds laughable now, but it was pretty normal for you, Mum. You’ve always been an anxious person.
Anyway that was our life for all those years. How we would have loved the latter years to be full of fun, like it was before you became dependent on us. We had many wonderful holidays together, both when I was young, and later with my husband and children. I don’t remember you being so fussy then, Mum. Luckily, dad was always very easy going and had a wonderful sense of humour right up until he died aged ninety-seven.
How I’d love to have those happy times with you back again. I missed you both today.