It is said that we all dream as we sleep, but it is not always remembered.
Stress made me dream of toilets and obstacles put in my way of convenience relief.
Reminiscence sees me dream of relationships past, though those concerned haven’t aged.
If I’ve been anxious, I dream of my Dad, who always brings me comfort and the strength to face my problems.
However, if I dream about my Mum, it is usually a worrying concern, and thus I feel the importance of contact with her.
The last time this happened, Hubby and I were in a position to visit, and we discovered my Mum on her own as my sister had gone away for a week’s holiday with her gentleman friend of the time.
I am not knocking it, nor her right to a personal life, friends, holidays or whatever, but the way it was done could have been handled so much better as it resulted in a lot of friction not only between us as sisters, but with the rest of the family thanks to some half-truths.
The other night, I dreamt about my Mum, and whilst I can only remember sitting on her lap as she cradled me (at our current ages of 94 and 60), I woke up crying.
Waiting until a sensible time, I decided to ring, even though I knew a letter from me should hit the mat either over the weekend or Monday.
My sister answered the phone and for five entire minutes she actually asked how I was, how my treatment was going and how long my recovery was likely to be.
I asked how Mum was and got the usual response of difficult and forgetful, then how tired and stressed SHE was with ‘the wedding’, her father in law who is currently very ill in hospital, hours on the phone to Ireland in conversation with her sister-in-law who was refusing to help with his care, looking after Mum, and the fact that she is due to meet the new boyfriend’s mother and sister this weekend.
She said she understood I’d received our wedding invitation and I said we were looking forward to seeing my niece married at noon on the day. She did not sound exactly pleased that we had spoken directly to my niece who has revised our invitation to include us in the wedding ceremony itself and afternoon reception. This is much better for us anyway due to our travelling time, as going to a 7pm reception was, to be blunt, ridiculous, and possibly a ruse of going through the invitation motions hoping we wouldn’t actually go.
Hubby and I will have to kit ourselves out with some new Glad Rags as we have both lost an awful lot of weight these past two years, plus I don’t own a frock anyway.
The in law thing is somewhat complicated, especially as my brother-in-law died seven years ago. There are two living relatives but one isn’t in a position to come and look after her father as she has had her own cancer issues, and the other who lives in the same house appears not to care very much, which is why he’s in hospital in the first place.
Sis said she was finding it difficult enough to look after ‘my mother’, then realised she was talking to me and amended it to ‘our mother’. Don’t worry, I’m used to being the forgotten daughter. It’s the way it is, but doesn’t mean I don’t care or that Mum doesn’t love me.
I asked to speak to her, and it transpired she wasn’t up yet, being easier for her to stay in bed until noon.
There’s a phone in her room though, so I eventually got to talk to her, and she’s OK.
She didn’t really know who I was, then asked where we were living now. Twice.
This is why I don’t ring and rely solely on letter writing and visits when we can. Mum knows who we are then, and doesn’t find it difficult or upsetting trying to place voices without the faces in front of her. We hope to get down to see her next month when my treatment has finished and I am feeling less tired and ‘burnt’.
She’s been getting my letters OK, and always says ‘I haven’t got round to answering it yet’. I’m used to that too, having only received one letter from my Mum since we came here in July 2014. My sister sends cards on her behalf for my birthday and at Christmas.
I can also understand why Sis is anxious about meeting the new boyfriend’s family.
Not knowing anything about this guy anyway, he’s about to introduce a Great Granny to his mother, so it’s more than likely he’s around our age. I hope he’s not a Mummy’s Boy, as Sis would definitely not be able to cope with that.
Apparently he has a little dog which comes with him when he stays over and Mum loves it, but is not too keen on the owner.
Mum also gets very animated when her great-granddaughter visits (she’s 6 and likely to be a flower girl or bridesmaid when her Mummy and Daddy get married) so it’s like having two 6 year olds playing together. My attitude is that if Mum is interacting and engaging in conversation and pastimes, then that can only be a good thing, regardless of the age group, and better than her sitting by the window silently staring into space.
Although we can’t visit just now, I’m not blind to the situation and the difficulties it raises.
They say dreams can also be wishes, and perhaps my subconsciousness is saying how much I wish we lived nearer, or how I wish Mum had taken us up on our offer to come and live with us years ago or she’d been encouraged to be self-sufficient in a warden assisted apartment a year or so after my Dad died.
I wish things were not so hard for everyone, that I could wish away the pain, struggle and heartache of how things are.
Looking between the lines now, I see it that my Mum doesn’t feel threatened by a child or a dog, but could well be afraid of change should there be a new man come into the house.