Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Time passes

It is seven years this month since my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I remember so clearly the moment when my life turned on its head, when child became parent. Very shortly after my father's dementia was diagnosed.

Since then it has been series of hospitals, pain, fear, caring and loss. My routine is ruled by their illnesses. My mother was given two short years to live, but battled through it all and is still here. But she is damaged. She has one breast, constant pain, and scars that cannot be seen.

My father simply exists, we have no way of knowing if he is happy, sad or aware. He just is.

I \am sad for them both, but I sad for me too.

I have given up a lot to care for them, and I am tired. I also - and I hate admitting this - resent much of it. No-one is to blame. Illness is.

I have lost relationships and friendships which couldn't stand the trails that have come with it all. I have turned my life and its geography upside down. Somehow all these years have passed, and I am still sitting here alone having missed much of the years I was so looking forward to. My parents have been denied their retirement.

I wish it were otherwise. I wish I had the generosity of spirit not to be angry about what their illnesses have put me through, not to hate that I stopped being able cope with the burden for a while.

It is what it is, and all I can do is carry on.

Child as parent.

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