Happy Mothers Day

IMG_2093Yep so that was another great mother’s day!

I recently wrote a very quick update,   I think it’s time to explain a little more.

To be honest very little has changed with Faith, he’s still in the drinking until he gets sick then has to go to hospital, gets a few days treatment then is sent on his way, usually with the words of wisdom from the doctor “drink in small amounts as needed” well we all know what that means to an alcoholic!

Much more has changed in my life. After a lovely holiday back in October I came home and phoned my elderly parents to check they were OK. “Well your mum’s legs aren’t working” what do you mean, her legs aren’t working? Put her on the phone. When she spoke to me I could hardly understand her,  she was mumbling and slurring her speech. “Dad dial 999, mum’s had a stroke, I will be right over”

And so began a very sad time for me. She was in hospital a week before the family was called and it was suggested all support should be withdrawn, she died peacefully within the hour.

During this week in November Faith was also in hospital, because he had been so sick including having fits he was kept in long enough for a complete detox. He came out in time to see his nan, she knew he was there, he was always her favourite grandson. I wondered how he would cope with her death, as it happened it gave him a reason to stay sober.  He wanted to attend her funeral and I made it clear I didn’t want him there if he was drinking. So started his longest period of sobriety since his last admission to rehab.

I focused on my dad, he was just broken, losing the love of his life, they had been together 63 years. At 90 years old he was amazingly fit and well. But this just killed him, literally.

We spent a very quiet Christmas with him. It actually was OK, as my mum had become housebound he only left the house himself once a week to do the grocery shop. I think he actually enjoyed spending time with us, my younger son bonded again with his grandad.

We were invited to spend the new year holiday with my best friend. She was concerned about me and felt I needed a break. I worried about leaving my dad but left instructions with my two brothers to call and to visit him.

The first thing I did when I returned home was call dad to arrange to take him food shopping the next day. He seemed OK.

The next day he wasn’t answering his phone,  neither were either of my brothers as I thought they might have taken him out.

I started to get a bad feeling, and when we pulled into his road and saw the blinds closed, I knew.

I found him on the kitchen floor, he had been cooking his dinner the night before.

And so within 5 and a half weeks I was organising another funeral.

I should mention that Faith had managed a month sober, he even got through Christmas, but with his girlfriend drinking I knew it wouldn’t last. So by the time I lost dad he was back drinking. But that was the longest period he had been sober by just willpower alone and with no back up. I was hopeful seeing the reality of death had changed his outlook.

I have to say this was a pretty dark time for me. Understandably of course, but I was also feeling that I was accepting the reality that I had lost my daughter to Australia. She is my only child who I think will give me grandchildren  and when she does they will be on the other side of the world.

So to Mothers Day, you know that day when you should feel proud and blessed. And this year, the first without my mum was going to be hard I knew  but then maybe it was my time to be spoilt, I have three adult children after all. But I knew it wouldn’t be like that, and it wasn’t

I had arranged to take my mum’s bed and freezer over to Faith. I knew he was in a bad way, his girlfriend had just been in hospital and he doesn’t seem to cope on his own.

When we turned up his girlfriend answered the door but there was no sign of Faith, then she told me he was in hospital, he’d had three fits then another two in hospital. He went in yesterday but they hadn’t told me. Happy Mothers day!

But hey come on  you have two other children, surely you weren’t such a bad mum that they wouldn’t bother! To be fair on my daughter she did phone me  and that’s a rare treat, we get on really well but the difference in hours plus our working hours makes it difficult.

And then at 5pm I walk into my kitchen and there is a card. I smile through the tears  it’s written by my youngest from all 3 of them. I know who is behind it, my daughter will have told my youngest son to get down the shop and buy mum a card.

It’s just a day,  why should it matter so much? I think it’s the affirmation as to whether you’ve done a good job as a mum or not. I decided to stop looking at FB and all the lovely photos and mother daughter/son comments.

I still love my three to the moon and back. I just wish they hadn’t all been dealt such I don’t know what to call it .. I guess difficult lives, with battles to fight

That is one thing I know my three children have, compassion and understanding for others that suffer

So, I love writing my blogs, they are so therapeutic. I have realised whilst writing this, I have three individual adult children that probably between them have more sympathy and empathy for other suffering humans than a lot of other friends children do.

It might not be what I wished for them, but it’s not such a bad thing

So happy mothers day to every mum out there. Your children’s lives might not have turned out the way you planned in your head the day they were born, but be thankful for everything they learn along lives pathway.

I’ve had an unsettling update from Faith since writing this but that will have to wait or I will never finish writing.

Stay strong and have Faith x

 

 

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Catch up

Where do I start, so much has happened since my last real post.

The biggest being the loss of both my parents within 5 1/2 weeks.

They were both elderly but reasonably healthy. My dad cared for my mum, more than we ever knew, especially in her last few weeks, I felt such a debt of gratitude and pride when I realised just how much he was doing.

I went away at the end of October for a holiday, I work full time, I needed the break. I worried my brothers wouldn’t check in on my parents, I don’t think they did.

The week before I went I organised a joint celebration for my mums 85th and my dads 90th birthdays. I am so glad I did, My mum didn’t want a fuss, she found reasons not to, they wanted to pay as they didn’t want to invite people and then ask them to pay, but they couldn’t afford much, their savings were needed to pay for their funerals, little did I know. But it was organised, my younger brother didn’t attend, he was just being awkward, my daughter was in Australia so couldn’t be there, my younger son didn’t wake up in time, I make no excuses other than he works nights and his built in clock told him it was sleep time. And Faith? No, he wasn’t in a fit state to come.

So to celebrate their 85th and 90th years , two out of three children and one Step granddaughter out of 7 grandchildren were there, and two great grandchildren. I felt so upset for them, but the wider family rallied and they did enjoy their day even talking to my daughter in Australia by video call.

That was October. When I arrived back from a weekend away in November I called them on the Monday after work to see how they were. I was greeted by my dad saying, oh yes, we are fine, but your mums legs aren’t working I’m a bit worried. After asking to speak to her and getting a totally unrecognisable conversation I told him to call 999 I would be straight over.

Whithout going into too much detail she was admitted to hospital. Her core temperature was very low and heartbeat very slow. After 6 days of positivity from the staff phnemonia diagnosed but was being treated, a week after she had been admitted we were called to be told they thought it best all support be taken away from her. She was made comfortable the family called and within an hour she was gone. We were all so unprepared. My dad , his partner of 63 years gone, was broken.

We got through the funeral (Faith actually got sober and stayed sober for a month, more on this later) and then Christmas, dad seemed to rally, doing excercises and looking after himself, he had the energy to make sure he was clean again.

New year And we were invited away, my best friend felt I needed the break.

When I returned I called my dad , he was Ok, I had arranged with work that I would do 4 days a week, at least for a while so I could help dad adjust and be free to take him for any appointments he needed.

I never got to do that, on Sunday I had arranged to take him food shopping, I was concerned when he didn’t answer his phone, by the time I arrived and saw the blinds still shut I knew, I just knew.

I found him on the floor in the kitchen, freezer door open,  oven on, fish a chips ready to go in the oven that was on.

He really had died of a broken heart, I was devestated but happy he was reunited, only having spent a short time apart from his beloved wife.

Life was taken over again by funeral arrangement, Having to wait weeks for a post Mortem didn’t help.  I carried on working, not wanting to be alone and think. I was too familiar with the funeral company, I worried I would have a third funeral to arrange “Faiths” it is a real possibility.

Faith has actually dealt with it better than I thought he would, fear of death has always been a worry for him. The fact he made a month sober, yes even over xmas, on his own without support, his determination to be sober for his nans funeral seemed to mark a change in him. I really believe he might have got to that point, the one you read about, where something switches in their head, I pray it has. But life is not that straight forward, he lives with another alcoholic, one who is in denial and expects to hold down a job whilst swigging vodka from her plastic squash bottle in her handbag.

So that’s it in a few paragraphs, my parents lives gone. I have so many more words in my head waiting to get out and onto this blog. I want to try and explain how it feels to be the mother of an alcoholic.

Hopefully I will have a bit more free time now to do that.

See you soon x

 

FAMILY…the word, brings so many emotions

IMG_3323I’ve just looked back on my last post and realised I obviously didn’t proof read it! But it was sent from the heart, I just typed, it was what I was thinking. I sometimes forget that others read my words, which really are just my thoughts.

So last time I was here I was feeling pretty low. I am again tonight, probably why I am drawn to my blog, to write, it somehow eases the hurt.

I have been lucky enough to have another short break, with a very very dear friend. She manages to ground me, her laughter heals me, her problems bring mine into line. Brain haemorrhage, breast cancer, a husband who contracted food poisoning and was left paralysed. Yes really, and on this holiday, her beloved grandson was diagnosed as autistic. There is actually more, but that’s on a very personal level I feel I can’t mention on here. So you see, how can I complain? Her laughter, her positive outlook on life rubs off on everyone around her. Unfortunately she lives a long distance from me so I only get to feel it occasionally.

So back to my son, Faith.

Nothing has changed. He had a fall due to being intoxicated which lead to  wound to his head and hospital for one night.

I am trying to arrange a family gathering for my fathers 90th birthday. Shouldn’t this just be such a wonderful celebration? Not in this family.

I have had bit of a meltdown, yes me, who hardly ever sheds a tear, sorts everyone else’s problems, but found suddenly, enough was enough. I have held back my feelings from family members to protect my elderly parents from further upset, they have had enough believe me, for far too long.

Money has always been an issue within the family, my parents on a basic pension, my younger brother has hardly worked in the last 10 years, my older brother has worked but found himself made redundant many times and living on a boat supporting his partially sighted partner. Divorce after 25 years married has had its impact on me financially, starting again with a mortgage which will be paid off shortly before I retire. But out of all of us I am the most financially secure, even though I work hard, full time to achieve that.

So I find myself helping out, my son who is in absolute dire straights financially. His benefits were stopped due to sick notes going missing, it has taken 3 months to finally get some benefits for him, in the meantime I have paid his rent and taken food parcels to him. Because he was getting no benefits he could not even register for the food bank. His girlfriend has of course supplied him with money for alcohol.

But finally his benefits be they meagre, have arrived in his account. And he has gone on a drinking spree. I have spoken to him in his drunken stupor, no, I have cried to him in his drunken stupor “your wonderful grandad who adores you, his eldest grandchild, is celebrating 90 years on this earth, and I cannot invite you to his celebrations” how that hurt to say. Especially when their step grandaughter who was not invited due to their limited finances (she of course said she would pay her family’s way) but as she wasn’t invited now refuses to come even though I have told her how welcome she would be.

At the same time my younger brother is going through a court case to try and have some custody of his son, of which I am totally in the middle, with his x wife. I have spoken truthfully with the social worker assigned to the case about my feelings towards my brother and his dominating controlling behaviour, his x wife’s lack of parenting skills, that poor child in the middle.

There was more upset with my parents over the celebration meal, my mum who is now partially deaf but refuses to acknowledge it , said she had not had enough say, the meal is too expensive (I opted for a roast, in a hotel that was easily accessible for people that were travelling) it’s just an average price, they are out of touch with prices, and I have asked for their opinion always.

I feel beaten tonight, well this week really. Tonight is my one night I have time to myself and go to a fun exercise class. I couldn’t face it.

And the very worst thing is? I have bought a bottle of wine, to ease the pain.

Will my next blog be (10 days sober)

At the moment I’m feeling that is a real possibility.