Teressa phoned last night, I knew from the time the phone rang at that it was her, I also knew within a couple of minutes that something had made her call me. At first, she was really upbeat and full of the fact that she and John have found a new flat to move to, slightly smaller than ours, especially the kitchen apparently, but she assured me that the all-important American size fridge was there. She had really made me laugh the other week when she told me they had turned down what was an ideal flat in all other respects, but the fridge was tiny, the downfall of living in the US for so long and marrying a guy from there, well there had to be some. I like everyone else who doesn’t live in London have heard on the News just how expensive property in London is, but I have to admit that when she said the flat was a little smaller than this one, that I had thought the rent might not be too bad, I was totally shocked when she told me the rent was £1300 per month. Sorry but that is just madness, no wonder people down there on normal wages just can’t afford to live. I knew though that there was something else behind the call and after going through the shared existent over the new Dr. Who starting in August and their plans to go to LA for the 50th celebration of Star Trek in 2016, I made a stab as to why she had called me, I brought up the subject of the downed airliner in the Ukraine and I had hit the nail on the head. Her dad is a retired Royal Navy officer, all her life she has overheard conversations about the defence of the world and the ins and outs of warfare, I never even when she was tiny saw any reason to not talk in front of her, as I still firmly believe that children only take in what they are able to understand and they should as much as possible be brought into a conversation if they show interest. To date I have been proved right on that one, we have talked through her life many times and what she doesn’t remember and what she does, seems to follow closely to my belief, apart from two subjects, the politics of war and the truth of our marriage. She had called as she felt the need to talk to me as she knew I would make her laugh and just in case the fallout began quickly and got out of hand, she would know she had at least spoke to us all. Neither of us have much faith in politicians of any colour or creed, two bullets started world war 1 and they couldn’t fix that, we don’t think things have really changed since then.
In all we spoke for about half an hour and for most of it, we laughed, there is something about the two of us together that always lands up that way. I remember when she was really little before she could talk at all, just that pre-speech babble, she would frequently grab hold of me and demand that I listened to her, totally straight-faced and as serious as any adult, she would have her say, then I would make her laugh. In fact I would say I spent most of my time from the very first laugh I heard from her, trying to keep her laughing, that serious little face used to get me, as no child should be that concerned about anything, especially when I hadn’t the slightest clue or inclination to what it was about. I never stopped either and when her father stole her from me and took her to New Zealand without telling me, as soon as I found her I made it my mission again, I couldn’t afford to phone too often but I wrote to her as often as I could, long rambling letters about nothing, but still with an edge that I knew she would smile and laugh at. When she said near the start of the call yesterday that she needed a laugh, well I knew why she had called and I knew she too felt it as seriously and although this time, I could understand every word of it, I was there to firstly listen and then to do what mum does, take it away as much as I could.
Like many things in life children a huge mixed blessing, don’t get me wrong I couldn’t love her more, but I worry constantly, another part of being a mum, I know that, but when I was diagnosed and I had to tell her, well it was really hard. That phone call was probably the hardest I have ever had to make and the only good thing I could say to her was, at least it isn’t hereditary. Strangely though it isn’t yourself who is ever uppermost in your mind at times like that, it was Adam and Teressa that filled my mind and every thought. Every time my health drops that bit more, it is still them I think of, Adam because he is the one who will eventually be stepping in to look after me and Teressa because I know what it is like to feel useless, when you have a life of your own to get on with. It is always those around us who feels the impact the most, I may be the one living with it, but Adam has to watch it daily and Teressa reads, phones and comes to see me. I am sure it can’t be easy to see the mother who she once described as her icon in life, who she was extremely proud of telling her friends about my being a DJ, having Tattoos and my mad life I lived and adored being involved in whenever she visited. Who flew home to be here for my wedding staying with us for six months, to now see her mother unable to do very much, just sit there and talk, has to be really hard. I am sure that she sees the change in me even more dramatically than Adam does and like everything else now, I can do nothing about it, other than make her laugh.
I suppose all of us eventually watch our parents fade from being the people who brought us up, sent us out in the world to build our own lives, into a shadow of the people we knew, normally for most of us that is the effects of old age and expected. I was only 20 when she was born, my journey to old age should still be way ahead of me in the both our futures, but here she is, watching it all happen in fast forward and it isn’t fair on her, just as it isn’t fair on Adam, but I still have time to make them both laugh some more, I hope.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 18/07/14 – My bowel is damaging my leg
I put a lot of thought yesterday into the events of the last few days and I think I am at least making more sense of what is happening with my left leg. One of the problems that I have increasingly notice over the course of this year is that my left foot has dropped more than it was, say last year. Foot drop is a common symptom of MS, it is a slow process that means that the muscles don’t hold…..