Music to cry by

There have only been two occasions when my music has made me cry, and today was one of them.

Hubby and I were both awake before 6am, and decided to go and visit my Mum.
We haven’t seen her since the wedding in July what with all our gallivanting about house hunting, so now we are in a position to ‘relax a bit’ and do those little things that have had to take a back seat temporarily.
We were on the road by 7am, and arrived at my sister’s back door shortly after 10 o’clock.
No-one was up, but with the two dogs barking, I saw a body go upstairs, and wondered if we’d been seen.
Five minutes later we were still waiting, so I rang their number and my sister’s boyfriend answered, saying he had seen us and was getting dressed.

He came back downstairs to let us in, and made us a cup of tea. We made small talk until my sister came downstairs, not in a very good mood, despite it being her birthday today. I gave her a token gift (a plaque that read “Wine improves with Age, I improve with Wine” which I thought she might like) and took a cup of tea up to my Mum.
Mum was pleased to see me, and said she’d be down shortly.
Meanwhile, the four of us made more small talk, and I felt very uncomfortable.
My sister has let the house go. The tidiest room in it is my Mum’s which although cluttered, is clean and tidy, and the bed always made.

The boyfriend took her out for a birthday lunch, so we had Mum to ourselves, which was much more relaxed. She was a little confused as to where she’d gone and when she’d be back, but was quite happy to have another cup of tea and some breakfast.
We asked her if she’d like to go out for a drive, and she said yes. Not up to lunch out, Hubby suggested ice cream, so we said we’d go after she’d drunk her tea.
She asked me if I played anymore, and I explained I didn’t have my piano now, though I’d played a baby grand in a local restaurant a little while ago, but my last session had been when we looked after her for the weekend when my sister went away with boyfriend number one.  I asked her if she’d like me to play for her now, and she perked up, so while she drank, I played.
My music has always been a comfort to me. I can express myself and my mood comes across in the way I play my favourite pieces. Today I played some of the golden oldies for my Mum, then ‘her piece’ which is Wind Beneath my Wings.
It was my undoing, and I felt the tears well for all the injustices in life, how things were and how there was little I could do to improve things. As I played the familiar notes, I so wished Mum had agreed to come and live with us all those years ago, but she decided to stay where she was as she felt my sister needed her.

With her tea now drunk, we found the correct pair of shoes and set off for the carvery down the road for our treat. I asked if we could just order dessert without the roast dinner, and the lassie behind the counter said it was fine and we could sit in the bar area.
Three ordinary sundaes arrived, and it was a pleasure to see Mum get stuck in. Afterwards, we went for a short ride just to extend the change of scenery of her being out of the house.
We got back just after 1.15, and I started clearing away dirty crockery.
I washed up, then attacked the sink with cleaner and a scourer, but couldn’t get it clean. I felt the tears threaten again, and Hubby came up to me to ask what I was doing. I could tell he was angry, but not at my Mum. The state of the house is not her fault.

It has been a mixed day.
My Mum is in good health and looking after herself. She knew who we were today, and enjoyed her little outing. My niece was just arriving when we left, so we stopped to chat for a while, so I know Mum was not on her own.
I appreciate my sister is under a lot of pressure. It is not an easy task to care for an elderly parent with dementia and she has done a sterling job. But I find it difficult to accept the sloppy way she is living, particularly as Mum used to do it all anyway.
But then, who am I to question her actions (or lack of them)?
As she’s said before, it’s OK for me, I’m just a visitor.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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14 Responses to Music to cry by

  1. ellenbest24 says:

    There isnt a right way to be a daughter. Just your way and your sister can only do it her way. There is never a perfect way to keep house just your own way… its yours not someone else’s. We may not like someone else’s way but it is what it is. Your Mum. Is more important than the housekeeping as you know. I can feel the love you both have in the post. Your sister will keep as she evaporates into insignificance in comparison. You both are doing good.

    • It’s just so damn hard, but Mum is most important. Sis and I have never really been close, and we are so very different. I understand her frustrations more than she probably knows but she doesn’t keep us informed of anything so I take her moods on the chin.

      • ellenbest24 says:

        I know I have lived away 4 years and just moved back and it feels like my sister just is so angry and uncommunicative, how dare I leave her with it! Truth is she took it on she made a proverbial rod for her own back. Mum now expects her at her beck and call. My mum is just grieving for dad not ill just lonely and sad.

      • I’ve had that, accused of desertion, not taking responsibility etc etc. All very hurtful but we’re not supposed to let on, right? Mum has always been there for Sis. It goes back to when I was 16, and I just accepted it. Hubby and I asked Mum to come live with us several times after Dad died, but she felt needed there. Sis forgets the times we had Mum for weekends, weeks, Christmas and Easter when we were local, not once offering to drop her off or collect her, so we did all the running (not that it mattered). Mum came up on the coach for weeks and months at a time when we lived in Lincolnshire. Now she can’t do that, and being as much as a seven hour drive for us at the time, we couldn’t collect her (never an offer of an overnight stay) even if she wanted to come. Now we are three to four hours away and try to get down to see her once a month. Living on a boat didn’t help of course and now we are planning on moving further away. I don’t go to see Sis, I go to see Mum. It’s just the way it is.

  2. Victo Dolore says:

    Sending you some hugs. You sound like you might need a couple.

  3. joyroses13 says:

    The “Wind Beneath my Wings” is such a beautiful song!! I can see how that would bring you to tears when thinking about your Mom. So glad you got to go see her today!

  4. I’m glad you had that visit, no matter what condition her house is in, or how much strain there is in your sibling relationship. I was moved by the tears while at the piano, it happens to me all the time and I sometimes avoid certain pieces of music that elicit tears…but not always. A very sensitive post here. Thanks, D.

    • Seeing my Mum is so much more important than how my sister keeps house. It was even more special this time as we got Mum out for a little outing. Usually she just wants to stay in her chair by the window.

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