Reliving the Past

The other day my mother who has been staying with me for the last 4 months told me that she won’t be able to visit again as she has become too old.

On this visit it’s the first time I felt that my mother really has started looking old and it scares me a bit. How many years has she left with us I wonder? Don’t get me wrong, her health is excellent and apart from some pains and aches she doesn’t have any problems. But when one keeps losing relatives of her age or younger, one can’t help but wonder.

My mother had her children after 16 years of marriage. I think we have kept her young. Nobody could tell the age difference of almost a generation gap between us. She used to keep herself busy, cooking and painting and meeting her friends. But after my father died she stopped doing all these things. She even stopped wearing bangles and it looked strange to see her empty wrists.

And somewhere along the way negativity crept into her life. I have noticed that a lot. If I talk to her about some new project of mine, she always points out the negative factors rather than encourage me to go ahead with it.

Will a pep talk help her? I don’t think so. What really does help her is to involve her in everything I do. My writing, my book readings, my art projects. Creativity dampens negativity. I really believe that.

And so I have started a new project with her. I let her talk about old times from her childhood, her marriage, being an army wife and a mother and I write it all down. When we have enough I’ll compile it and it will be something that her grandchildren who never got to meet their grandfather can read. I have noticed that when she talks about those golden days of her life her eyes light up and her voice is full of enthusiasm. I find no negativity there.

This is my pep talk for her. She talks and I write.

Daily Prompt: Pep Rally

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23 thoughts on “Reliving the Past

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Pep Rally | My Atheist Blog

  2. I was going to write a pep talk for my own Mom today as she has withered since my Dad passed last year so I understand. It’s sad, isn’t it? I am trying to get my Mom involved in writing her stories and maybe publishing a book of little kid stories. I understand. ♥

    • Unfortunately my mother doesn’t know how to use a computer. We have had computers in our home right from when they started as my father was really into them, but my mother never learned. I can’t facebook or Skype with her so it’s just great that she comes to visit for a few months.

  3. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Pep Rally | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

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  6. Clearly she misses your father and her life with him. I applaud your efforts to help keep her engaged, but perhaps you should seek outside help with a grief counsellor as well, to help you better understand how to help her cope? Simply re-living her life and sharing it with you – which is indeed a lovely tribute to your father, her and her grandchildren, is wonderful – but clearly it isn’t enough to help her through the days.

    • I never thought of it that way. In my society in times of tragedy we rely on family to get us through. Old age homes and psychiatrists are very rare as a source of comfort. I don’t know if it’s the right approach, your comment has got me thinking.

      • To be sure, family can be a tremendous source of comfort and help – but at the same time, there may be hidden sources of anger and resentment on your Mother’s part – without her even being aware. When I made the suggestion, I of course am/was not trying to meddle, but perhaps, if you seek out “professional” help in a safe way, asking for some guidelines or suggestions, then perhaps you might be able to help your mother even more through her grief. Sometimes those closest to the situation lose a slight amount of objectivity – but I do honestly applaud your efforts and the “project” you and your mother are sharing together.

        I hope I have not caused offense.

      • No offense, but I have been a bit upset thinking that I am not doing enough for her. My brother who she lives with is a doctor but has never suggested that she might need professional help. But I understand completely what you are trying to say and I really appreciate your honest and caring opinion. I am just really confused how I can deal with this situation.

      • I am so sorry that I have triggered something in your mind. Surely your brother would have a deeper understanding of the situation, as he lives with her, and in a sense, she is in his care more frequently.

        I AM quite sure that you are being more than generous and helpful to your mother. And all that you can do, is live each moment honestly, with her, and help enliven her spirit, with what you know to feel right. Please don’t second guess yourself. I am sure all will be well – sometimes it is just patience, love and time, coupled with more love and respect – knowing and understanding – that will see those in grief through.

        Give yourself some time to not worry about it. Step back and let it be – you already *know* within yourself what is right for the situation.

        Peace and blessings to you.

  7. Pingback: Head cheerleader reporting for duty | Life as a country bumpkin...not a city girl

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  11. My son (by then an adult) once told me my attitude wasn’t good enough – that they (my children) deserved better. It hurt, but he was right, and I did what I needed to do to snap out of it. I’m eternally grateful that he had the courage to be so brutal – I’m a lot happier for it, and so are they.You may well be right about your mum – you know her, I don’t – but sometimes it takes harsh truths to create good outcomes. She’s obviously depressed, as I was and had been for years. Anti-depressants were the answer for me. I balked at taking them (me? on pills?) but oh, the difference! I now have every intention of enjoying life to the very end!

    • Thank you for your comment. I’m so glad things worked out for you. We obviously have every intention to do the best for our mother (My older brother and sister are both doctors). But yes sometimes an outsider can see a problem close family cannot.

  12. Do write her memoirs and we can have view of any army man’s wife ……. Because children of military people have our views but their perspective gets ignored

  13. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Pep Rally GOOD OLE MRS RIGHT NOW | Phoenix Flights

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