Maria’s Stuff: Reality Check – One year on and still missing her.

The 30th of May was an awkward weird day. I woke remembering but trying hard not to visualise my last few minutes with my mum.

After watching her cope with being paralyzed on her left side, and her ensuing struggle to live on a daily basis I have learnt to recognize, and admire the courage of the elderly and anyone who is ill.

On a stranger note I get angered by the daily flippant changes in our Irish healthcare system which are  devoid of commonsense, logic and business sense.

I do have many regrets involving her last year. The main one being my constant questions (in my own mind) about how we failed in our lack of care. We did everything we could at the time, don’t get me wrong but looking back I see the faults, the areas where I should have demanded more on her behalf.

The reality of a situation like that is though you may be doing the best you can for them, I felt, in this case,nothing I did was good enough. I am left wondering and questioning if I could have done better, more..

For now, I focus on remembering the times we laughed, moaned or groaned to each other .

I have also learnt that a life no matter how long or short it is, is often remembered by moments. These snapshots bring back memories of vivid happiness, fun, grief, nothing escapes but they are all moments to be treasured.

For the first time in my life I appreciate and understand her unspoken philosophy of being involved, doing something no matter how trivial or menial. The size of the gesture or involvement doesn’t matter. It is the act of living, being part of life. And all I can add is for such a small woman she managed to do a whole lot of living.


8 thoughts on “Maria’s Stuff: Reality Check – One year on and still missing her.

  1. Hi Maria,

    That was a great post. Touching.. and at the same time so resolute in terms of how life and living show up even under the most strenuous circumstances.

    My Dad ( he is long gone, bless his soul) used to say how life is but a series of discrete snapshots. Childhood CLICK…. Relationship and marriage CLICK…….. Middle age CLICK and before we know it……… Old age ( very less clicks then!). And when one looks back, one realises how fast these clicks have followed each other.Your post mirrored this and brought back a gush of memories from my past. Thank you for that.



  2. Your mum sounds wonderful.
    I don’t think it is possible to do more. I think we are often bewildered and traumatised ourselves when faced with caring for people and helplessly watching them suffer… after all, it just doesn’t happen to us that often in our lives, and we just don’t know what to do, what is normal, what is expected, and while we are trying to figure it all out, life moves on.


  3. Oh Maria I know what you went through my father was paralyze from one side of his body due to cancer, it is true we should enjoy the simple things in life and absorb everything, and appreaciate those special moments. You are such a beautiful soul.


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