It’s good to be home

12 Feb

On 30 July 2021 I wrote

MisoCat is not overly impressed that Puck bagged her favourite spot first.

On 1 August 2021 I wrote:

It’s good to be home. One in an occasional series.

At the end of July 2021 I returned home to our wee home in the Valley, aware that I needed to get used to a new normal. There was a lot of talk of “new normal” in 2021 – we were still living through the Covid pandemic, and knew that at some point we would have to start living some kind of a normal life again. None of us really knew what normal might look like; I knew that my new normal would not have my mother in it for that much longer. But for how long?

I had become used to life in Gatehouse, and I’d liked living in my hometown again. But it was good to know that I was able to put down anchor and enjoy the calm waters for a while, I had been unmoored since the beginning of January. I had been thinking about Mum for about 55 minutes of every waking hour. And now that professional carers were looking after her, I could let go of most of those thoughts.

I allowed myself to think that this was only a temporary reprieve, that Mum would inevitably deteriorate further and that she would die .. we had lost so much of the Mum we loved already, but I could not bear to think of a time when I wouldn’t have her in my life at all. Of course we had no crystal ball, so we had no idea how long we had with her, and what sort of life she would continue to live. We were thinking in terms of months, not weeks. But months, not years.

So 18 months later it feels like a sort of surprise that she is still alive. I won’t call it a blessing, because I know that Mum would never have called it a blessing to live as she lives now, unable to read, unable to draw, unable to make much conversation, unable to remember moments of her life that have given her pleasure, unable to remember who has loved her, unable to remember how many sisters she has, unable to decide what she’ll eat each day, unable to make a pot of soup, unable to write, unable to know if she has ever been happy. And she has been. So happy.

Mum sleeps much these days. Generally she seems happy to see me when I visit, and not distressed when I leave. She knows who I am. And I remind her of the remarkable woman she is, though often she is less interested than I would imagine she would be. Generally she is content to snooze while I sit and knit next to her.

It’s good that I enjoy knitting. In so many ways.


If you want to catch up on how we got to this point, this series of posts starts here, with Taking Smock of the Situation, an embroidery project I started after I realised Mum might have dementia. There I was, embroidering her old fisherman’s smock with symbols relating to her life; meanwhile her memories were being thrown around like so many pieces of jigsaw in a big box.

If you feel like a bit of cooking inspiration then you could check out my recipes here. This weekend I have started making bread again, after months of popping the ingredients in a the bread machine. I have several bread recipes, but the easiest by far is this one for No Knead Bread – it takes very little of your time, and tastes DELICIOUS. And there is proper joy at making your own bread.

2 Responses to “It’s good to be home”

  1. Neil February 12, 2023 at 9:42 pm #

    The flowers look amazing.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Taking Smock of the Situation | Shewolfinthevalley - March 3, 2023

    […] It’s good to be home […]


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