Sunday, 8 May 2011
Today is Mother's day in Japan and the US (in the UK, confusingly, it usually March or April).
My mum died in 1996 of myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. I'd just arrived in Sapporo to start work at a cult-like English school and one June morning my step-mother and father called to tell me that mum had died in hospital after 2 years of illness.
She had fallen down while walking a few years before, then later doctors found a big part of her skull and hip bone was soft and spongy...and her bones and blood got worse and worse.
Mum was a writer, editor and graphic designer. She wrote handicraft books and edited the sewing section of a woman's magazine.
She was an awesome cook and gardener, loved cats and wine and mystery novels and Scrabble. She was one classy dresser, and never went out without make-up and carefully co-ordinated clothes.
Mum was bossy and emotional, laughing and argumentative. Married twice, and one daughter.
Now I live with HIS mother, to me she is just an old lady we have to care for - but I TRY to remember that for him she is mum...not always a source of trouble, but also lots of positive shared-memory things. I try. Not always very successful. :-))
*** My current "mother"....Yesterday was one unexpected sharing moment with Okaasan; she actually TOLD me she was having toilet problems! Very surprising.
I walked into the kitchen and found her making tea and looking a bit distressed. She told me she had constipation and was getting tired sitting in the toilet. I made her filter coffee and told her (truthfully) that I've had this problem all my life. So I gave her two cups of filter coffee and hoped that did the trick - it always does for me.
I wondered too about the diet we give her, are there actually enough vegetables and fruit? Maybe too often in our meal times "vegetable" means salad, because it is easy. But a few bits of lettuce and stuff isn't a lot of roughage and Okaasan doesn't eat so much anyway. She eats rice, soup and the tofu/fish part with pickles.
Sometimes she buys apples ( only green are deemed good enough to eat), but she often forgets them after a day or two and I end up eating them instead.
Anyway - as luck would have it, I was shopping yesterday at the cheap and great vegetable shop so I bought up a load of stuff and did roast veggies with garlic and rosemary for dinner, with turnip leaves as a side dish etc - so we ALL got a good shot of veggies yesterday.
But interesting that Okaasan told me about her toilet problems. It was a good personal topic sharing-moment and made me wonder whether I CAN broach the topic of diaper pads with her?