a new phase

The doctor warned us this would be a rollercoaster. I’ve always rather liked exciting rides. Not this one. This is a ride I can’t get off. But, after the desperate dips of the last few weeks, we now seem to be on the long straight stretch – and I have no idea if at the end we plummet down a horrible frightening fall, or slowly tantalisingly rise up to new heights. It’s a rollercoater ride with blindfolds.

Mum is off the critical list, and has been transferred to Belfast, alert enough to know who we are and what is going on. Great for us to have a little of her back (albeit a silent, parlaysed her) but awful for her as she is trapped inside a redundent body unable to express herself other than through half a smile and two bright blue terrified eyes. On good days, when she recognises me and touches my face, I am strengthened – like my lipstick reward of old when the taste of her lipstick when she kissed me as a child made me feel invinsible. On bad days when she is lost to me, I can hardly muster the strength to keep going. I spoon feed my mother, and come home to feed my children. I rub moisturiser on her drying out skin, and come home and rub oil on my newborn’s growing skin. Two ends of the lifecycle spectrum and I am in the middle.

But. I must learn from my parent to be a parent. She taught me to carry on and find the good in the bad. Yesterday my baby smiled at me for the first time, and so did my mum. A new phase begins. A long phase of development and rehabilitation. They both need me….. and those smiles will have to give me the strength. Thank you also for all your good wishes and thoughts – my friends keep me going too…..

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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6 Responses to a new phase

  1. So very sad to read and then seeing your two tags at the end – baby and stoke. It is good to hear you have a little of your mum back and she must be so plased to have you with her, even though all of this must be a huge strain for you. Hoping it gets a little easier for all of you. Hang in there. x


  2. Laura says:

    I'm so pleased your Mum is off the critical list at least – baby steps seems an appropriate description for you all. Life must be so tough for you at the moment – I have been thinking of you all every day, checking to see if there was any news.
    Keep watching those smiles, they will help always. x


  3. Foodie Mummy says:

    I'm glad to hear you mum is getting a bit better. It must be so difficult for you! You are one strong person! Thinking of you. X


  4. cath c says:

    hugs from across an ocean…


  5. I really love your blog, I read this blog from all the way across great oceans in Australia and I feel connected to the way you spin a yarn, the way you invite me into your life gently and reverently. Basically I feel privileged to be able to read your words and to know a bit of your wonderful mama and girls.

    Sending you all the strength I can, knowing that being on opposite ends of this spectrum of life must be confusing, exhausting, overwhelming.

    Much love to you and yours.


  6. cath c says:

    still thinking of you and your family. just wanted to let you know. hope all is as well as can be.


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