17th September 2007
I thought I would put pen to paper instead of talking or nagging as you call it! I feel so very sorry for both of us at this time of writing. You drinking again and me trying to hide from it – you. I just don’t feel I can watch you self-destructing – is your life so bad that you can do this to yourself? You know you could have so much more, but don’t give yourself the chance to find out…
Last year was probably the best year we have had together for years, I really enjoyed getting to know the old mum I knew and loved. I really enjoyed going to France and to Brighton and had hoped this might have happened again this year. Last year at my sister-in-law’s wedding so many people complimented you and me on how well and so smartly dressed you looked, albeit very slim, but glamorous. Most probably the most glamorous oldie there! You looked so smart in your lovely striped jacket – I was very proud. What has happened to you this year? You are not bothering are you? You have not had your hair done in several months and you have lost more weight which you can ill afford.
I know you had a big shock when your best friend and my aunt died, but this is a fact of life. We will all miss her lovely smile, her laughter and her positivity about everything. But more so, her husband and ‘the boys’ will miss her more. Perhaps we take these things for granted that our favourite people/things will always be around us. This is just not the case, things change and always have done, a fact of life. Like I really hoped you had changed last year, turned your life around again. Each day I saw you progress – ‘one day at a time’ goes the old adage. But, yes I did see you changing and I loved that change. I really miss our going into town and to the garden centres and our curries. Do you know you have only been to our house two or three times this year. How does this seem to you?
I know you cancelled your memory appointment. How do you think this made me feel. The old saying goes ‘you hurt the ones you really love’. Well no more a truer word spoken, because at the moment next to you, I am probably the most miserable person around – I am crying as I write this, but you can’t see my tears.
I don’t want you to end up in some horrible old peoples’ home, sitting there in the corner demented and drugged up. Yes that’s what they do to old people to ensure they don’t give their carers any hassle. Mum you are only 70 and not ready for pushing up the daisies yet. You were going to have a birthday party this year weren’t you? Instead you have found yourself spending your ‘milestone’ on your own. I don’t want this for you, nor do any of your family. It doesn’t have to be this way.
If you seek help for your memory, it is highly likely that there is medication you can take to slow the progression. I don’t know what else to do to help you.
I have tried so hard to spend as much time with you, but at this point I feel rejected, dejected and subjected to/by so much pain. There is not an hour in the day when I am not thinking of you. I am scared for you and how I may one day find you. If it is me that is. Is this what you really want for your only daughter and son? I have already found you on the floor unable to move – how would you have felt if you saw your mum/my nan in the same position? Think about it…
You have two lovely cats that need caring for, they may live for 15 years or so, but at this rate you won’t even see them get to be teenagers let alone middle or old age. Mum, I have lots of bad memories of your drinking, but I have good memories when you weren’t and this keeps me going.
Some of Dad’s last words to me were ‘Please look after your mother’. I never realised what he meant until last year when you came out of that place. You were so ill, I thought you were not going to pull out of it, but you did. I felt so protective of you when you came out. You may not remember, but I saw you about 3-4 times a week bringing you little meals to try and tempt you to eat. I know your appetite is not good, but alcohol is not a substitute for this and as you know will make things worse. Never mind what you thought about dad, but feel that I am letting him down because I am not seeing you and making sure things are OK with you. I know they are not OK.
You really shocked me the other Saturday when I saw you almost fall into your armchair. You looked so awful with your black eye – again blaming this one on one of the cats. You know why though don’t you. Each time you drink, a small piece of you body/mind/spirit dies in the bottom of the whisky glass. If you have any strength left, try to give up the whisky.
I will write to you again soon, because I don’t feel I can speak/see you at present. I can not accept your drinking any more, but still live in the hope that you will stop. You know I have offered to take you to AA and pick you up until you can drive. There are probably other avenues/ways to help you, but you must ask for this help. It is not for me to make your choices, it must come from you.
I hope you will keep these letters for as long as you live, so that if you pull out of that rut you have found yourself in again you can read them.
Love as always