Hi Coch-a-lora, jig, jig, jig.
Have you ever seen a monkey riding on a pig?
Well, have you???
Every birthday celebration we had was something to look forward to. Right up to her last year, it was something very special at family gatherings.
We would sing happy birthday, and then Mum Mum would, light up and sing “why was she/he born so beautiful, why was she born at all? Because she had no say in it, not say in it at all.
Every time with out fail, she would then go on and then say as fast as she could. “Hi Coch-a-lora, jig, jig, jig. Have you ever seen a monkey riding on a pig?”
“Well, have you???” She would ask.
We would all laugh and join in. Everyone looked forward to this part of the gathering.
This continues at birthday celebrations and is a wonderful way that my beautiful Mum Mum is still included and remembered at special times.
As difficult and challenging it was caring for Mum Mum at times, it was these occasions that were very special. Full of love and joy and so much fun.
You know over the last month, When I have been reading the journal that I kept all of those years ago, it has been an emotional ride of remembering just how challenging it was being a carer. How often lonely and isolating it could be. And there is no way I would have changed this. Yeah, maybe done some things differently, but that is the funny thing about hindsight isn’t it?
The challenging times were challenging and difficult. It was very hard emotionally especially in the beginning as we started to notice the changes in this beautiful, strong and resilient woman.
And the special times were ever so special, those moments of cheekiness, the singalongs. Oh my god the singalongs, Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag … is one I remember very well that we would sing quite often.
And although she wasn’t an overly religious woman, she would often sing – Jesus loves me, this I know. On reflection I wonder it if was a kind of comfort for her as she would often say. “Somethings not right...”
It was a different time back then. There wasn’t the medication there is today to manage this and so much has changed in that time around dementia awareness and understanding the body and brain.
This week is my birthday and my beautiful Mum Mum will be in my heart, in my laughter and the fun we have together as a family.
September is Dementia Awareness Month, I am sharing my experience with excerpts of my journal that I kept and that was an important tool for my wellbeing throughout this time.
It is my heart felt hope that my small action of sharing will make a big difference and contribute towards building an understanding of some of the challenges families face as this condition brings about change in a person you love.
Wishing you Wellbeing.