Thursday, February 08, 2007

8 Years

Today it is 8 years since my Mum had a stroke. It was a Saturday morning. Dad woke me up just after 10 and told me what had happened. I remember that I had heard Mum's car leave in the morning and thought it was Dad going to get the paper. It was actually Mum and Ginette coming to tell Dad that they were going to the hospital.

I remember trying to get hold of Deb and Jeremy but I'm not sure I did. I think Shaz or Dad must have. Then trying Alan Webster. I am still overwhelmed by his reaction. He didn't make excuses or say he'd be at the hospital when he could, he asked where she was and he went straight there. He was there I think before everyone except Dad. He dropped everything to be with us that day and I think his doing that was the best reaction anyone could have done for me then.

Shaz and I spent the morning playing the card game speed.

I went with Mum to her first Physio session. It was very hard for both of us but at the end she walked which gave me hope that nothing else could have. If she could walk it would all be ok.

I think it was Norma Pheasant that organised meals for us. Every night for a long time someone in the church prepared a meal for us. I never knew who it was but it was so generous.

Mum was in hospital for 10 weeks I think. I saw her no more than twice (possibin that time on my own. She was transferred out to Burwood Hospital and it was too far for me to get there. We wrote letters to each other via Visitor Post (usually Dad or Shaz) and that helped.

A couple of years later at Easter Camp Jenny McDonnell prayed for me that my relationship with Mum would be restored. I remember crying that night and all I wanted from Mum was a hug with both arms. On the Monday when I got home Mum gave me the usual one armed hug but then she used both her arms. She laughed and said "That's the first time I've done that!"

A month before the stroke a couple of, what I had thought were, random things happened. Mum had gotten me and Shaz one day and said it was time we learnt how to use the washing machine and clean the toilet. I remember thinking Mum had lost it. Also we both got our Learners Licences. This meant that afterwards, even though Mum couldn't physically drive, we could drive her while she was our licensed supervisor thingy person.
Most people were amazing. I do remember though on the Monday afterward when I was back at school, that I was crying in class and my "friend" told me to stop it, that God was in control and that I shouldn't be sad. This friend had lost her dad only a few years before so I would have thought she would have been understanding yet she had NO idea. Note to everyone: NEVER do that. If you can't think of anything to say just sit with the person, that's probably all they need.
Also the doctor that first day who told us it was just a mild stroke. My uncle had had a mild stroke and been out the same day. Mum's was hardly a mild stroke.
I'm not sure why I'm writing all this. I think it's more for me to remember rather than for other people to read about it. I don't remember most of that time fortunately. 8 years is such a long time but to be honest it still feels like last year.


Christina said...

I remember when you came to school and told us, it was quite weird. I think we were all pretty shocked, none of us really had any idea about what to say or how to react - it was completely out of our experience. I definitely remember freaking out because I knew our parents were about the same age and I thought maybe my mum might have a stroke too.

It's good to remember/record those kind of things (not sure why, but anyway!); I did the same thing after Luke F fell off the roof first day back in 7th form. Kinda weird, but kinda helpful. Now I'm just babbling :P

Keep rocking :)

amy said...

Wow I can't believe that was 8 years ago. I remember it too. What a shock it was for your whole family. Hasn't your mum done well!

I'll never forget the time she shared the story of raising both hands for the first time after her stroke. Very special.

I remember very clearly, finding out my dad had a heart attack and all the emotions that come with that. Moments like that are hard to forget. Aren't we blessed to still have our parents in our lives?!