Below you can find another chapter from the book Thank you, mum. I hope it touches your heart.
(For the Swedish version, scroll down and then select Next post.)
There are things in this world that we can't fix. We need to just let them be, let others or life itself handle it for us. However, we hardly ever understand this, ourselves. As long as we believe we can fix it, we'll try, and try again.
When dementia fully took a hold of you, you were not only confused but also hallucinating. You lived in a whole different world and there wasn't much we could do to help. It was a hard pill to swallow, for my husband and me, and especially, for Dad.
Dad has always fixed everything. Put up goals and accomplished them. Like when he first laid eyes on you on the school bus. You were twelve, and he was thirteen. He decided then and there that he was going to marry you. He did marry you, as soon as you were legally able. Like when he decided to become a pilot. With only one to two flights left to complete his pilot certificate, he decided to quit because you fell ill and he wanted to be with you.
Like when he decided to move to Gothenburg and work at Volvo, although he grew up in rural Gästrikland, and had worked in the woods with timber his whole life. He did, in some way, get what he wanted. He did get a great career working for both Volvo and Saab. But what he wanted, most of all, was to take away your illnesses. To make you well again. To stop dementia, for which no one has yet figured out a cure. Thanks, Dad, for teaching me to put up goals, and accomplish them.
Thank you, Mum, for teaching me that some things need to be left alone. When you tried to escape from your house, convinced that evil people were in there, we changed the lock so it couldn’t be opened without a key. Sometimes, we'd come with you on your escape. Then we'd follow you back inside once you'd calmed down. Sometimes, you wouldn't calm down, no matter what we did, no matter how far we walked with you. Then we'd stay inside. I remember standing behind you as you tugged at the door. When you told me to open it, I told you I didn’t know where the key was either. You went over to the other door and tugged at that that one as well. To see your anxiety, your struggle, it really hurt. It hurt me, it hurt you. That's when I understood that some things could not be fixed.
We couldn't take away your pain; we couldn't take away your anxiety. None of us, the psychologists, the doctors; nor the medication could do that. We couldn't pull you out of that deep, dark hole you'd gotten stuck in. We could only jump in to keep you company. When all of us joined in and wondered where the key was, you were no longer alone. When you could no longer join me in my world, I joined you in yours. Thank you, Mum, for teaching me to accept the things I cannot change. Thanks for teaching me that, sometimes, the best thing to do is just to be there.
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This was a chapter from the book Thank you, mum. A book for those who miss someone.
If you would like to give the book to someone you think can be soothed by it, or to yourself, you can find it on Amazon on any of the links below, or you can search for it on your Amazon of choice.
Amazon in the Netherlands (if the price of the paperback is higher than about 17 euros, check out another market)