We can all fly

16 Mar

On 16 August 2021, I posted:

First stabs at the new design and I have already stitched and ripped it out twice. I didn’t like how the stitches were sitting, which might be because I really need to get new glasses and better lighting so I can see more clearly what I’m doing.

I was at Mum’s at the weekend and noticed that the second brood of swallow babies had fledged.. they were sitting resting on the washing line… and are today’s bonus pic.

I’d harvested mum’s potatoes the weekend before and when I told her, she’d looked all wistful and regretted that she wouldn’t get to eat them. So I decided she could, which meant I was scrubbing new potatoes and boiling them while I had breakfast on Sunday morning. Then I stuffed them in a wide mouthed thermos flask and smothered them with butter and salt and pepper.

And after our coffee mum had a potato course, before her lunch arrived. She loved them. It was so good to see her enjoying the moment.

It’s all about the moments these days.

Did I ever mention that mum taught me how to fly? She honestly did. As a child I believed I could fly, if I really wanted to. Mum gave me that belief in myself.

I told mum about the fledgling swallows and she was wistful about them flying off to South Africa. I reminded her that we can fly and she smiled, remembering that yes we can fly. If we want to.

The swallows have fledged. Soon they will fly all the way to South Africa

Reading those words some 18 months after I first wrote them I am struck by two things:

  • It continues to be all about the moments
  • Mum, despite her own apparent incapacity, still gives us the confidence to fly in whatever way we need to

Mum spends more and more time sleeping these days. She seems so calm and serene and at peace with her world. Again, I am astonished at how she continues to demonstrate her superpower of adapting to whatever circumstances she finds herself in.

When I visited her on Friday I sat beside her as she snoozed. As she woke up, I stood up and opened my arms as if to hug her, and said “hello Mama”… I was about to follow it with “It’s me, Loïs!” when she smiled a big smile and started to say ‘hello….’ and then she paused as though thinking what came next, but instead of worrying about it or thinking any further, she just repeated what I had said, “hello …. Mama!” There was such joy in that moment.

It’s all about the moments.

In some ways we are getting ready for her to fly, to fly away forever. I’m not sure I will ever be ready for that moment… though I do feel confident that she will when it comes.


You can read more about my relationship with Mum and her dementia starting 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; while her memories were slipping away, like me at a party I don’t want to be at.

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