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Monday, 30 November 2009

The final analysis (not for this blog)

I find that I begin to think of my Mum at this time of year - I don't often at other times, although I never stop missing her. Today though is different, as it is ten years since since she died. The build up this time has been much more intense, possibly because of everything that has happened this year, but also I am sure, because I now work with the elderly and understand so much better how she must have felt and the things that went through her mind.

It is hard to believe that ten years ago, Coran and I were at the hospital with my sister Linda, and her then boyfriend, waiting for my brother to arrive. A lot has happened in those short - but seemingly very long, years. A few months after that, my sister's boyfriend's Dad also died, and Paul a recovering alcoholic feeling unable to cope, jumped off the roof of a nearby shopping centre. When he woke up he found himself in intensive care with a broken pelvis and other multiple injuries, including severe head trauma - it was more than three years until he was finally able to live on his own, and he still needs help. My sister still sees him from time to time, but their relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend, which was always rocky, did not survive.

In the meantime, within a few years my brother also split from his wife. He met someone else quickly, rather too quickly for his wife's taste, whom I think regretted the fact that she hadn't tried to patch things up (my brother from what I understand, begged her to go for counselling). She eventaully remarried, but it didn't last. In the meantime, my brother has been with his partner for about eight years now, and they are engaged to be married. His eldest son is also engaged and in May, will become a Dad, making me a Great Aunt and my brother a grandfather. How things move on.

I am sure that if she could see all this, Mum would be incredibly proud. She would proud too of the things that I have accomplished - writing and publishing my book, helping Coran with his issues, travelling around the world on my own, and of course, being brave enough to face my demons. I am not sure if this something she ever managed to do herself, since she never really talked about these things, and I know she had a lot of them, but I would like to think that wherever she is now, maybe looking down on us, she is happy and free of pain. In the final analysis, that is really all that matters.

Monday, 23 November 2009

The anniversary waltz

It is hard to believe that it is almost a year since it all kicked off with my ex employer - how things have changed. When I look back to where I was and how I was feeling back then, how relieved I am that I no longer have to put that mask on each morning and pretend to be something that I am not. The strain that I was put under was incredible, and I am not surprised that I reacted in the way that I did, for when people feel forced into a corner, drastic action is needed in order to extricate themselves from that corner. It was the best that I ever did to leave that place.

The other anniversary that is coming up quite soon is the anniversary of my Mum's death, which will be ten years at the end of this month (30th). I always start to think about her at this time of year for this reason. It seems extra poignant this year, for a reason that I cannot quite put my finger on - I suppose that working with the elderly as I now do, has made me more aware of what things are like for them, and many of the things that my Mum must have been feeling. I hope that she is happy wherever she is.

I have never been lucky enough to have 2 weeks off at Christmas which many spoilt and pampered office workers seem to take for granted. In fact in most of the jobs I have had, I have been lucky to get more than 2 days. Shops have to open on Boxing Day after all, so that the aforementioned office workers have something to spend their money on. This year for the first time I have to work on the day itself, and actually I am surprised to find that I don't mind - I am actually looking forward to it in fact. It should be good fun, and a great atmosphere, with all the residents dressed up and the staff in silly hats having a laugh together, with a steady stream of visitors all day. Normally I work on Saturdays and Sundays, but as Boxing Day is on a Saturday and I am working the day before, they have agreed to let me have the day off. It seems only fair after all, that staff are not expected to work all over the holiday, everyone is entitled to some time off.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Making a difference

I don't think I have ever had a job that fulfils me in the way that this one does. The faces of many of the residents in the care home that I work in light up when I walk through the door, and we laugh and joke together like old friends. In many ways they are becoming my substitute family, for the grandparents that I never knew. All bar one of my real grandparents were dead before I was even born, and the one that remained (my Dad's Mum) was a bit dotty to say the least. I remember how she used to pinch my Dad's favourite chair and sit and watch the wrestling, which she called boxing, and how she used to enjoy playing my fuzzy felt ! Those were the days.

It is ten years at the end of this month since my own Mum died - I can't believe where the time has gone. It feels like yesterday. It makes it all the more difficult when one of the residents at work dies, or when something happens to one of them, and there have been a few incidents this past weekend. One lady, who has only been in the home for 2 months, passed away on Friday morning, another man fell out of bed and bumped his head (he refused to let them use the guard rail), and one lady who I am quite close to, had an accident and pooed all over her carpet - guess who had the job of shampooing (no pun) it up. Lovely ! There are some aspects of this job that I really do not enjoy at all.

I still think though, all things considered that I am in the right place, doing exactly the right thing, and from the smiles on their faces when I walk through the door, the residents evidently feel the same.