Wednesday, 5 March 2008

My mum

Looking at my mum now, shuffling slowly, taking tiny steps with the aid of a walking stick, I can't help but feel so sad. Just a year ago, she could still sprint across the hall like a 7 year old. Seven years ago, she traipsed across Europe together with me.

We braved the English cold, trudged through the parks and markets in London, stood in awe of the Stonehenge, admired the beauty of Bath, visited the doomed Millenium Dome, crossed the Dover Channel on a huge ferry and landed in the diamond capital of Belgium where she urged me to buy myself 2 diamond rings. We dodged bicycles and peered inside the teeny weeny houses in Amsterdam; climbed up Eiffel Tower and watched Can-Can dancers strut their stuff in Paris; gawked at the opulence in the Versailles Palace, walked through ancient castles and guzzled too much beer in Germany; trotted across the Swiss countryside on a horse-drawn carriage; sampled chocolates in tiny Liechtenstein and stayed in an old fashioned pensione in Austria. So many cruises, castles and basilicas... but only one mum.

I remember she was a little slow in boarding the crowded subway in London and I had to pull her inside the carriage a little impatiently so that she was not left behind on the platform. I bought her a pair of Clarks sandals in Bond Street because we walked so much until her feet hurt. Today, she says that was the most comfy pair of shoes she had even owned.

The shoes are gone now but my rings remain as precious souvenirs and the trip brought back wonderful memories of time spent with my mum. I remember all the little things we did together in London. We witnessed the guards changing shift at the Queen's Palace, had afternoon tea and cakes in a small English cafe and watched Le Miserables at the theatre. So many firsts for the both of us.

Oh, how I had taken my mum for granted then. So what if she was a little slower than me and couldn't catch up with my big strides? Now, I'm so grateful we made that journey together.

Just a year ago, her doctor praised her for having the agility and flexibility of a woman half her age. What happened to the active and feisty mum I always knew? How can one's health deteriorate so quickly?

13 comments:

Amel's Realm said...

WONDERFUL memories...at least you've had many wonderful memories with her and she's still with you, Blur.

And I can feel your pain...it was also what I felt when my Mom suffered from knee pain until at one time she almost couldn't walk at all for a few days...She'd always been my SUPERWOMAN/SUPERMOM who could do anything in the speed of lightning...she could cook 3 different meals at one go.

It's one of the hardest things on earth, I think...to watch our parents' condition deteriorate. But no matter what, I hope she has joy and peace in her heart, knowing that her kids turn out OK and she's lived a full life and her grandkids are OK. ;-D

JYankee said...

yeah it is the same with my mom too... it wasnt that long ago..my mom was pretty bouncy and active too...now she's really slowed down... it is sad to see...

La delirante said...

Lovely post Blur Ting, very inspirational and touching. I must admit I also took my mom and my grandmother for granted and now that we are so far I realize that.

It was very sad to learn that my grandmom had had a stroke. I couldn't believe it but I was happy to think that she always seemed to me to be happy despite her sad share of events. Even now, after the stroke she still sounds very happy on the phone :)

These reflections remind me how important every second of our lives are.

Michelle said...

Ting, what a lovely tribute to your mom.

Is there a medical reason why she is having problems? I can relate very much. My mom had osteoporosis come on very fast and has gone from dashing about very active to struggling with pain. I also have a friend who has had arthritis suddenly start in her knees.

Blur Ting said...

Amel - Yes, I am pretty close to my mum and being the only daughter who lives with her, she's my confidante and we're there for each other. Your mum's super efficient like my mine, so it's tough to see a drastic change.

Yah, she's grateful that her family is well taken care of but occasionally she'll sigh "What have I done in my previous life to deserve this?"

Blur Ting said...

JY - Growing up, we see our parents as strong, invincible beings who are there for us the moment we open our eyes. When the situation turn around, it's something that will take sometime for us to get used to.

Blur Ting said...

Thanks Wen. It's so easy for us to take them for granted when everything is going well. I'm so glad my mum went on that trip with me. She didn't want to at first and it took alot of persuasion before she relented. She enjoyed herself thoroughly in the end.

Blur Ting said...

Michelle - I guess we're at this age where we start to see our once strong and able parents start to weaken with age. In my mum's case, it went downhill after her radiotherapy treatment for a brain tumour which is non cancerous. Somehow the side effects are not very pleasant in her case. Maybe it's her age or her body constitution isn't that strong to start with.

At this age, most elderly folks suffer from one ailment or another. Such is life. That's why we mustn't take our own health and happiness for granted while we are still young and able.

SOUL: said...

this post makes me sad-- but at the same time, you're right-- what memories! those are gifts you will always have.. and i am sure that you have a million photos to show for that trip as well!
make yourself a scrapbook of that trip---- it will always be special to you-- and later to your kids---

it's really nice that you and your mom are close-- so many people can't say that.

you are lucky--- and so is she!

have a happy day-- don't be sad-- be happy for what you have-- not what you are watching fade-- ok.

hugs, my sistah!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Blur Ting, this is such a touching post. It's lovely that you have so many happy memories to share with your Mum. My parents are still relatively young, but I do wish they would live healthier lifestyles so that they don't slow down too soon. Best Fish x

Blur Ting said...

Yah Soul, I do have loads of photos of the trip. At that time, I didn't use a digital camera and so they were immortalised in prints.

Blur Ting said...

Hi Fish, go on a trip with your parents if you can. Somehow sharing new experiences with someone dear makes it all the more enjoyable.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Sigh.
I can't imagine what I'm going to do when I get old...
Can you imagine a more cranky Mother Hen? Oh my god, that thought alone is SCARY!