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digdigil

MEMORIES AND MEMENTOS

It's been a long time since I posted here. I decided I'd better become more active, maybe do a post every week, on Wednesdays, which is my day off. It makes sense to use part of my free time to unload my feelings, whether good or bad, happy or sad. Of course, posting will also allow me to catch up with my flist and get back into the comings and goings of everyone else's lives.

My particular life in the past couple of years has had its ups and downs. Sean is now 5 years old and is thriving at school. His autism affects certain areas of his behaviour, mainly his concentration, but he is doing very well despite that. In particular, his socialization skills have come a long way. He is communicating very well with the other kids and has made friends. It turned out that speech therapy was not needed. We had to wait so long for an appointment that when we finally got one his speech had come up full force to the age-appropriate level during his second year of school.

Olivia, my daughter, has packed up and moved to Vancouver. It's hard for me to get used to this. I miss her a lot. But we are planning a trip together to Europe in the spring, which should be really enjoyable.

My son Jamie, ever the slacker...no change there...has been studying Graphic Arts in Advertising at college, but has decided to drop out because it's just not "him". He plans to go back to work full-time until next September, then enrol in a trade, like carpentry or something, because he says he is a "hands-on" person. *sigh* He is 21 but he makes me feel like I'm 100.

I guess the worst thing for me lately concerns my mother. A year ago she suffered an accident (she is 81) where the sliding glass door of her patio came loose when she tried to open it from the outside, and fell on her, knocking her backwards onto the patio. A couple of women out for a stroll found her lying semi-conscious, the glass door lying on top of her. Bruised and broken, she was rushed to hospital where she stayed for the next 3 months. She had hit her head on the stone floor of the patio, resulting in profound memory loss. She couldn't remember us (her kids), my dad who passed away in 1998, her pet cat, or her condo. From the hospital she had to be transferred straight into a nursing home where she lives now. Because of her dementia, she can never go home again.

Only part of her memory has since returned and she says she does remember us, her children, now, but when questioned about her past life with my father she remembers nothing. Nor her past life, her childhood, her parents, just nothing.

There truly is nothing sadder than old age when all the past is forgotten. She and my father were so much in love and that she doesn't remember him anymore is like a blow to my pysche and has completely affected how I now regard life.

We sold her condo in September (last month), partly because we knew the economy was in a downturn and it seemed useless to keep it. Olivia had been staying there before she moved out west, and we didn't have the heart to rent it out to someone else. As sad as my mother's memory loss is, it was heart-rending to have to go through all her possessions and decide what to discard and what to keep. She remembers nothing about anything she owns, but we all kept a few mementos, and we took some things to the nursing home to surround her with.

Olivia kept a tiny ceramic Buddha figurine that had been given to my father, who was an architectural engineer, on a trip he made to Rio de Janeiro long ago. It is supposed to bring good luck to travellers and Olivia has always loved the little thing. Among other things, I kept some old love letters that my Dad had written to my Mum when he was away in the service. (He was with the RAF.) They are wonderfully written, beautiful things. He had wanted to be a newspaper reporter for the longest time, because his Dad, my grandfather, had been one, and then became an editor.

Of course, I cried when I read the letters. They were so tender and passionate, without a word of smut. So full of love and so emotional. So full of life at the time and concerning lives that existed, but are no longer remembered.
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Thanks!!! I appreciate it.

Good to hear Sean is doing well! LOL @ Jamie... my bro is 33, quit his job and went back to college. My poor parents facepalmed.
You must miss Olivia so much! Why did she move to Vancouver?

It's indeed very sad when the elderly forget their past. Is there any chance of her memory returning? Maybe if you'd let her read your dad's letters?

So full of life at the time and concerning lives that existed, but are no longer remembered.
But you remember them, even if your mother doesn't.

*hugs tightly*

Yeah, Sean is just eating school up! It's made ALL the difference.
*sigh* at Jamie. He sounds EXACTLY like your brother! I must do a post on Jamie alone, about all his strange habits. It's worth it for the laughs it'll get. He is a real character.
OMG it SUCKS so BAD to age this way!!!! Actually, there is a VERY slight chance some more memory may come back. After all, some has, even though it's been very, very gradual.
Letting her read Dad's letters is a fabulous idea!!! I will try it.
Yes, I remember how life was with them when I was a kid and so on. And my sister made a scrapbook for each of us with the most wonderful old snapshots she took from my mother's place. This is why it is SO important for parents (and grandparents) to talk about their lives with their children. And take lots and lots of pictures! When the kids are older they will appreciate it so much, and for some it will be all they have to hold onto.

Thanks, hon, for your warm and lovely words.
*hugs&kisses*

Oh, sorry I didn't respond to your question about Olivia and why she moved!
It's her boyfriend. He wanted to go out there and start a new life.
He is 35 now and much older than her. He was working as a personal trainer and fitness consultant but with the slide in the economy here, a lot of his customers had dropped off and he wasn't making good money anymore at it. He's got a job selling those electronic video terminals that you see all over the place now: hospitals, waiting rooms, food courts in malls, train stations, airports, etc., etc. Hopefully he'll do well. Olivia is working for an insurance company, doing office work. At least she told me that's what she is doing. LOL. I know at one time her BF wanted her to do bikini modelling. He trained her so she looks like this:

Photobucket

OMG *facepalm* I should really do a whole post about her too. LOL.

*hugs you*

I know that my dad had written to my mother and that she kept the letters but I have no idea what happened to them... There was so much stuff to go through after dad died and my brother ended up doing most of it because he was there and I was 200 miles away...

I've missed you!

Thanks, hon.
I hope you find those old letters. They are such precious things.
OMG it's so hard to go through your parents' stuff! My sister, brother and I took turns doing it and I know we threw a lot of stuff out. Had to, but we prayed that we would not overlook something or throw the wrong thing away and regret it later.
One of the most poignant things for me was to discard my Dad's engineering degree. It was in a picture frame but the glass was cracked. I tried to slide the diploma out but it wouldn't come, we were in a hurry, so I just let the whole thing slide into the dumpster. The whole time I was regretting it, and I think I actually said, "Goodbye, Dad," while I was doing it. And the thought flitted across my mind, "A whole life out the window."
It was pretty horrible. Ever since, I've thought that I would do anything to get that diploma back!

Oh my, I've missed you to! I'll be on LJ more in future, I promise!

:(

You could probably get a copy of his diploma if you know the year he graduated... Just a thought!

*huggles*

I'm always happy to see your posts. They're too infrequent.

I'm so sorry about your mother. But, as lhuneldaiel says above, you have the memories. And you can pass them on through your dad's letters.

Edited at 2008-10-29 05:04 pm (UTC)

Thanks, hon!
I will be posting more often from now on!
This whole thing has made me believe that it is so important to write letters! Or emails! Something! But communication that can be saved is so, so important!

Thank you, darlin'! You made it over here! Fantastic!

I never talked about my parents. It hurts so much because I never again can go and give my mum and my dad a kiss.

Beautiful daughter!

Friend me please *hugs*

So sorry to hear about your mum,hun.My Gran knew nobody for the last few years of her life.Its so heartbreaking to try in vain to get through to them.
I'm glad Sean is continuing to bring you all such joy though.His only limitations are other people's narrow mindedness.Post pics soon!
take care xx

Thank you, dear. It is indeed heartbreaking to have relatives who no longer remember.
Sean is a blessing, truly. He is doing so well, it's hard to believe he has a disability!
I will post some pics soon! I do have some new ones.

Oh, it's so nice to see you around again! I have missed your humour.

Your grandma's story truly is very saddening.

Awww...thanks, and it's great to hear from you!
I hope I'll be able to catch up with my flist from now on!
The last few months have been a trial and not much chance to get online.
Old age sucks. My advice to everyone is make the most of things while you still can.

*squishes you*

With all that went on the past month with my Kevin (the studies and tests, does he has something in the range of autism or not (which is still not known)), I have been thinking a lot about you. In a way I drew strength from what you went through and reading this news about Sean is just making me immensely happy.

As for mom, it made me cry. My mom just lost the love of her life and just to think that she would not be able to remember all they shared is just... heart breaking, especially for you since you do have the evidence of such great love. *hugs you*

The graphic arts study sounds very much hands on to me in the artistic way, but you know carpentry is a great profession too. Perhaps he dislikes the thought of being cooped up inside? *big hugs* I am sure you and Olivia will manage to create great mother-daughter moments in the months/years to come!

Oh my, it sounds like I have a lot of catching-up to do, Rhaps! I must read through your journal and find out what has been happening with you and Kevin and the rest of your family!
My mother's memory loss is just the worst thing. I mean, she is still alive and I can talk to her and stuff, but sometimes she's better than at other times, and sometimes she just isn't "there". Like if she hasn't seen you for a while, she'll ask, "Who are you?"

Yes, re: Jamie, he has missed his calling! He should have been a pro athlete. He had all the talent but no real ambition! So he is just floundering around and really doesn't know what he wants, IMO.

Olivia and I will be sure to have great times when we get together, we always have, but the fact that she is 3,000 miles away worries me! It's not so easy to see each other anymore!
Thanks for your words, Rhaps, you have cheered me up!

What a beautiful entry. Thanks for sharing - I'm sure that wasn't easy to write.

How sad, not to have your memories... but at least you still have the letters, so their love lives on. Even if she has forgotten, I can't believe a love like that could die.

*hugs*

Thank you! It was hard but I needed to get it off my chest and sort of explain why I wasn't posting much in my personal LJ for the past few months.

Hey dear, I just found your other journal! Hope you don't mind if I friend you - I would like to get to know you better!!! Afterall you are not only the provider of many awesome awesome picspams, but seemingly a cool gal too :)

*hugs youu* Your kids seem really awesome! I miss my mum, it's quite sad I'm about to move 20,000 km away from her :( But I guess we gotta spread our wings and explore! I'm sure your daughter misses you a lot too! A trip to Europe sounds like such an amazing idea :)

Oh man, I'm really sorry about your mum. Losing memories is a pretty scary thing. The letters sound so beautiful. Well just wanted to let you know I read this and I hope you're feeling ok. I can only imagine how it is for you.. keep writing <333

Oh, thanks for friending me on this journal! That is great! And thanks for the compliments!

I'm going to start using this journal more now and post stuff about my life and stuff I think about too. I miss that part of LJ although I'll still be doing picspams and stuff in the other one!

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