Tag Archive: mother

incapable of thought

18 months ago my mother and I were excitedly discussing our planned upcoming trip to South East Asia. (She didn’t go with me in the end because of feeling just not well enough – the start, we later found out, of what is happening now)

I just put the phone down after chatting to her about her oxygen converter she is on 19 hours a day, and the advantages of a four-wheel indoor scooter thing over a three-wheel one.


18 months

2 week trip through China, Thailand and Vietnam

Oxygen masks and motorised help to get around a one bedroom cottage


18 short months


I am speechless and thoughtless

This is more than I know how to process

Shit got real

My mother is ill. She has been for a while. The idea that she is dying has been floating about for about 6 months. My brother and I joke that she shouldn’t buy green bananas.


She has fucked lung disease and the blood thinners she is on for the clots made her brain bleed. I was in New York on holiday and my brother had to make hard decisions about brain surgery and anaesthetic risks. He did and she survived but the half-bald head she emerged with was not the only change.

The lack of blood thinners to keep her blood in their vessels is also keeping the oxygen out of her blood. So another decision has to be made regarding which risk is greater. Which side effect worse.

I saw her yesterday

She is yellow

It took 15 minutes for her to walk 30 metres.

She is 68 not 98

She is not old

She is dying


My mother really is dying and green banana jokes are not funny any more


How do we do this? All of us?

my mother

Loving one’s mother is compulsory. I think some serious shit has to go down for love directed at a mother to be destroyed.

Liking one’s mother is not as easy or even as compulsory. My mother always gave us space to not like her; and trust me, at some stages of my life I used that space up to the max.

I have discovered a new emotion towards my mother; one I think many modern women struggle to feel towards their mothers, simply because who their mothers are is so different from who they are.


For so many of my peers, our mothers are worlds apart from us. I know many women my mother’s age who were wives and mothers only their whole lives. They raised children and cleaned house; were dutiful and companionable wives and supportive daughters. They looked after their aged parents and went on brief holidays once the kids had left home.

I am not knocking this as a life choice at all. What I do think though, is that for women of my generation; the achievers, the liberated, the free – it is very hard to understand and respect that kind of choice, that kind of life. I know that I would find it very hard to relate to my mother if those had been her life choices for her entire life. I would have no idea what to speak to her about as I create a career for myself.  I would be not able to discuss with her the decision I face in the life I have chosen had hers been as different from mine as it could have been. We simply would have been too different as women and people.


But I am lucky because my mom has made respecting her so much easier for me.


She is so much of what I aspired to be. She is brave and forthright, committed and interested. I watched her this last while doing something I know she struggled to do. I watched her take a deep breath and listened to her voice quiver and catch as she calmed herself down. And I recognised all the signs of discomfort cos they are exactly the same as mine.

But she did it.

She steeled herself and she did it.

My mother’s education places her in a certain social and academic echelon. But her knowledge and her willingness to share it is what places her in a space of respect.

When I am big I am gonna be just like her – only taller