It is no secret that my Dad is my hero, however I am blessed to have two heroes and today I want to share something about my Mum. Many people often ask me how my Mum is coping with things (dad’s dementia), so I thought I would take the time to say a few words about her.
My Mum (Jan) is a quiet and understated person and has a unique set of qualities that are extremely valuable. She goes about her entire life in a supporting role to all our family members but without doubt she is the most pivotal and influential. Mum is always there for us no matter what….It can be a winning moment, a losing moment, a tragedy or a triumph….the one constant is that she is always there to be proud of us or help pick up the pieces. She has earnt the right to tell us when we have ‘crossed the line’ and is famous for setting the highest benchmark standards for us to aspire to.
Like many mums she is happy flitting around the kitchen preparing food and making cups of tea. I recently observed her going about her business and I noticed the selfless manner she looks after our extended family. She made sure she fed us first and she would always be last to eat and was constantly asking how we were all going and if we needed anything else.
Having Dad with dementia has galvanized our family but has also educated us all and allowed us to grow as people. Mum has been steadfast in her loyalty and commitment to Dad and has not only been there every step of the way, she has thrown herself into danger so many times. When Dad has been very agitated she would place herself within Dad’s personal space to try and calm him down to protect him, protect the care staff and also the other residents. The potential for her to get hurt is very real indeed and her brave approach has been amazing to say the least.
The way she has coped with Dad’s illness has been incredible and she has looked after so many other residents within the nursing home when resources have been stretched. Mum is in the nursing home every night making sure Dad is comfortable and well fed and has hardly missed a day in all the years Bob has had dementia. I am so grateful for her for being there for all of us and making sacrifices to ensure we all live well.
You may be surprised that my Mum does not read my posts, my website or see me speak in public, and that is totally ok with me, as we all deal with dementia differently and I respect that. The reason she doesn’t is she is living with dementia every day and having to read it back can be extremely difficult to cope with. I have her blessing to share our story and am confident she will one day gain comfort by reading this post and knowing we made a difference to many other families in a similar situation.
The partners of people with dementia really do it tough and my Mum has been both inspirational and legendary. If I had to describe Mum in 3 words they would be loyal, compassionate and honest.
Mum rarely takes a breather and we will be looking after her when she needs us most. Now is the time for her to follow her passions and do things to please herself (without guilt) and create her amazing artwork. Mum has the talent to be one of the best artists around and I hope she will be exhibiting real soon.
Bravo Mum…..You are the best!
PS – the pic was taken last year when Bob had mobility.