This blog will be a raw journal of my feelings; as well as updates on my mums well being, but mostly it will be a safe space for me to say what I need to say and it won't always be flowers and roses.
If this makes you uncomfortable, don't read it. I'll still love you. april
a·pha·sia : loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage.
a·prax·i·a : inability to perform particular purposive actions, as a result of brain damage.
These 2 things, while fairly small words are what's holding Jill's recovery back. Right now, they feel like the biggest words in the English language, and for mum, they probably feel like the box that is confining her. I imagine a box similar to the ones you see in cartoons, wooden, with loads of chains and padlocks, but somehow the cartoon character can always escape.
Jill has a long history with lots of recoveries...and she is good at it. She has always been a highly motivated individual. This time too, if it weren't for that stupid box.
Jill can, for the most part, understand everything you say - and will say 'WHAT?' if she doesn't. She can read, but not entire books- as she has some right neglect (I will discuss this in my next post). She cannot write or type. She can draw. Her drawings, to me, an artist, evoke so much feeling of being alone.
Now, she has come a long way - she has limited control of her right leg and can walk with someone for short distances - those walks are getting longer and longer though. I attribute this recovery of the body to mums sheer will-power (Smith women can be a little stubborn) but also muscle memory of her being so active. My entire life, mum has never sat still for this long.
BUT THOSE TWO 'A' WORDS...
Over the months it has been said to me many times by many people that they just don't know what to say to Jill now. The answer is; Everything and nothing.
She is still the Jill you knew and loved. The Jill you meditated, knitted, went to meetings or walked with. I have been thinking a lot about this and how people feel awkward with the silence...some people spend hundreds of dollars to go to these silent retreats - mum included! Sometimes even now, we just sit in silence and hold hands that is enough for her. Saying nothing IS good enough.
The fact remains that people don't know what to say...
She still likes to hear about the weather, I prattle on about the birds I have seen, the garden or the repairs that may need to be done at the house. She can still answer my questions for the most part. She still has a sense of humor. I just have to think and phrase my question or statement a little differently to a yes or no answer. A small price to pay to hang out with this wonderful lady and benefit from her years of wisdom.
Yes, she gets frustrated sometimes and yes she cries, but wouldn't you? I certainly would.
I ask what are a few tears between friends?
I have known Jill to help many people in their own recoveries, this is no different. Pay it forward with love - mums motto. So that's why I am here doing what I am doing. It's a tough job, but saying that, it is also very rewarding.