No one ever asked
My wee mum was the kindest most caring person you could ever hope to meet, her ability to love and care for others was inspiring.
Her parents both passed away when she was very young and my mum was brought up by her big sister Agnes along with her other sister my Aunt Blondie. My Aunt Agnes had a large family of her own but cared for my mum and perhaps this was the building block of my mum and made her the caring person she went on to become. My mum met my dad one day and there began a true love story, two people made for each other and that was the start of a new love story, my parents love for their children. My mum like my dad lived for us and many other family members and friends and was always there to help out in any way she could. She worked hard all her life, especially over the last ten years my dad was alive as his health stopped him from working and took him away too soon. My mum would go out to work night shift after putting me to bed off she would go and work in the thread mill and be there in the morning to get us up for school. Fourteen long years mum worked her fingers to the bone to give her family the best. Across her many jobs she was always the hardest most thought of worker and when my wee dad passed away ten years ago my mum’s heart was broken.
I often thought that my mum would die from a broken heart and later as dementia took its cruellest toll I often questioned what was crueller; to die of a broken heart or to no longer remember the reason that your heart was broken? My mum gave so much to so many people, she made the little things better and she went without so others could be happy or succeed and I miss her.
This is just a brief description of my mum and if you are reading this you now know more about my mum than most of the people we dealt with since diagnosis till she passed away, because no one ever asked .This highlights one of the biggest issues we faced, too often too many people over the last few years saw dementia first and not much more. Too many people even with the best intentions involved in this journey only saw a wee woman with dementia and that’s where we fail people. My mum was much more than that. If we only use dementia as the starting point, then we deny the life we led and can still lead for as long as possible. The starting point should be the person themselves, their life story, abilities, likes and dislikes.
My mum was kind caring, loving and wonderful friend and over the last few years too many people missed this because they never asked, they simply saw dementia and for that reason, missed out on knowing and understanding a remarkable lady who would have given them so much more than they gave her.