My Mum had Alzheimer's Disease and later developed Parkinsons as well. It was hard to watch her disappear from us especially over the last year. I guess we can say we were lucky that she only had it for 4 or 5 years with the last 1 to 2 years being the worst. Some families have to tend to loved ones for many more years than that. It took a toll on us all but mostly on my Dad who had looked after her at home right up until about 6 months before her death when she had a fall and badly broke her leg. My Mum then went to the hospital for surgery and was later put in the long term care at the hospital until she could either go back home if she was able to get back on her feet or to a nursing home, she never made it to either. Even then my Dad was in the hospital every day to help feed her her supper and keep her company. I am thinking of him today as it will be a hard day for him, they were married for just over 52 years.
Mum and Dad cutting their 50th Wedding Anniversary Cake
I have many fond memories of my mother and will always have them with me. She taught me how to cook even though she rarely followed a recipe. I remember being 17 and I was going away for 9 months to do volunteer work with a government program and knew that I would be living with other kids around my age and we would be taking turns cooking. I would stand by my mother as she was making some of my favourite dishes asking her what went in that dish and then about how much, she would reply "about this much" and show me how many shakes or pinches of what spice or herb, still to this day when I make those dishes I never measure and they never turn out the same way, sometimes not spicy enough and other times too spicy but always good.
I loved going for hikes with her, I would sometimes almost have to run to keep up with her and she almost always knew what each plant was, or know what bird that was just by listening to it or seeing it. She had a beautiful garden and knew what all the flowers and bushes were. A lot of those plants became cuttings for the garden I started at the house we used to have.
1995 having a picnic before going on a hike in Algonquin Park
The garden my Mum and Dad worked on behind their house
I think I got some of my adventure from her. It was my Mum's idea to move to Canada from England back in 1957 (I think). Apparently she was walking by a travel agency where she had seen a sign posted that Canada and New Zealand were looking for immigrants to move to either country to work on farms (both were part of the commonwealth) so immigration wasn't a problem at that time. My Dad was doing his time in the militia and was stationed in the Far East. She sent him a letter telling him that she wanted to move to Canada and he said fine and she looked after the arrangements. So maybe this is why I like the motorhoming adventure that we are doing.
My Mum and Dad on their wedding day, they left for Canada about 6 months later
We always went camping when we were kids and growing up, and my Mum was always a trooper and never shied away from anything. I regret that My Mum and Dad never got to doing the travelling that they wanted to do in retirement. They did do some but never got to some of the places that they wanted to go to together.
So again that just reinforces the idea to me that we should never take life for granted and that we should do what we want to do when we can because you just never know when your time will come.
I love you and miss you Mum!