My mother is my hero in so many ways. She is a woman who overcame a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in her 20’s and went on to marry and have 4 children. She was highly educated for her time and always encouraged us to get a tertiary education. Her words went as follows…”get your degree and even if you end up cleaning toilets you have something to fall back on”.
This was a woman whose own mother(my grandmother) suffered depression and was many times treated with ECT and so my mum had to be chief cleaner, cook, shopper, carer (as her father died very young from lung cancer). My mum would go to work and at lunchtime travel home to make sure her mother was doing fine and then prepare her lunch. This eventually ceased, only after her superior at work challenged her to let her mother care for herself (which believe me was very good advice, having known my grandmother).
After she married, there came a time when Nana had to come and live with us. Every night mum would prepare beautiful meals, only to have Nana complain about it. Still she continued to care for her and love her.
My mother is a woman of great faith and she and Dad go to Church and celebrate Mass nearly every day of the week. Mum also volunteers to clean the Church and prepares it for weddings so it looks beautiful for the young couples. I add, she’s 83
This particular post was instigated after visiting my mother today and yesterday. She had had a very bad fall running for a train and fell face first onto the concrete platform. I was greeted with black, panda eyes, yellowing face, bruised and swollen cheeks and a forehead which looked like she’d had botox (it was so swollen there were no wrinkles) . In the middle of all that, there was the smile and the bravado. “I’m fine”, she said “It’s no big deal”.
In the last two months, this woman who usually has no serious health problem, has suffered from Shingles, then a torn ligament in her foot. Despite her bad foot, she and Dad visited her cousin (who lives 3 hours away) because he’s seriously ill with cancer (that’s how she found herself face first on the train platform). She was changing platforms and there was a crowd surge and she was pushed. Then, after having that terrible fall, she wouldn’t pull out from celebrating her friend’s 89th birthday because she had promised to take her out and she’s a woman of her word. (She said as her friend’s eyesight was so bad she wouldn’t notice the black eyes and face). Because her friend has bad health, she was concerned she may not see another birthday, so didn’t want to miss this one and let her down. So off she and Dad went to lunch with the friend…..plus the swollen, black face.
When my hubby and I arrived today I was shocked because of how much worse her face had become as the bruising showed itself. My mouth fell open like the serrated edge of an open can! There she was smiling and moving like all was well. Did I mention she has a better memory than her four children and her mind is sharper than a tack? This sharp mind was revealed as she described the reaction of a woman who kept screaming out “Oh my God” (which did not impress my mother at all) while mum was wondering where dad was and Dad, who had gone on ahead to see what train was due next, was trying to find Mum and wondering what the huge crowd was all about, until it dawned on him that his wife maybe in the middle because he couldn’t see her anywhere else.
Anyhoooo the point:
- She is my hero…. and we can all be heros to each other in different ways and I have a sense of this as I read some blogs and meet new people and read their stories of survival and overcoming difficulties
- We never know what will happen in the next moment and the outcome of this fall could have been heaps worse, so we really need to celebrate and enjoy the people in our lives
- There was no sense of blaming the person who probably pushed her unwittingly(no victim mentality, who can I sue response). This “it happened, it’s in the past, let’s move on” mentality is a great and peaceful way of living because by not holding on to the past, Mum manages to live in the moment and enjoy it for what it brings.
- No asking for attention or feeling sorry for herself. No need for comment here!
- No woe is me! So Mum didn’t hang on to the past and demand any attention, she just moved on.
- Being in your 80’s can be wonderful and full of life, it’s all in the approach to life.
- Courage has no age limit.
- Faith brings it own rewards….as who worked on that particular Railway Station at that particular time was a man from her local church! An angel in disguise, who was a big help to Mum and Dad.
- Even in her condition, all she was interested in was how we were and how the grandkids were. This way of living with concern for the other and not obsessed with self is also a way of being I try to copy.
Thanks for reading. Live well. And may I add my thanks and appreciation to all of you who bother to keep coming back to read my blogs. I am very grateful for your time and support. I love and appreciate your comments. I also want to thank you all for what you bring to my world with your wisdom, insights, humour and courage through your own posts. I have never yet hit the like button without reading your post. I just want you to know that for what it’s worth.