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Me and my Mum, chapter one

Updated on April 23, 2014

Nowadays, my Mum doesn’t remember much at all. She sometimes doesn’t recognize me. So I decided to publish this reverse history to show all the parts of my mother that I remember every day, and hopefully she will remember once in a while.

I’ve lived here in western New York for over five years, and Mum has been here to visit a few times. I so regret not staying in Connecticut and moving in with her after the foreclosure. She did not want it at the time, except on a temporary basis. Or so she said, possibly to not make me feel tied down. But I truly believe a lot of what happened was because I was not there, except for a weekly phone call and three or four visits a year. Before that Mom and I usually did something together each week, like a movie or shopping or dinner. Once I moved to another state she didn’t have the constant link to reality, but did have a constant link to loneliness.

But we both were full of pride, and thus did not prevent the stroke and its aftermath. Just walking around the apartment reminds me so many times of the Mom That Was.

Mom was an interior decorator and had impeccable taste. So when I showed her how I folded over lace curtains to make their own valance and she liked the idea, I felt flattered.

Mom often gave me pieces of her past – “junk” jewelry and scarves she bought for
when she worked at Franklin Shops and décor items such as paintings and

I told her my plans for the sconces next to the fireplace, and she said it was a good idea. These sconces were originally in her Lindenhurst house.

After the fire, my oversized antique furniture became too burdensome for my little
house. So Mom bought me a dining room set. I convinced her of the desirability
of the white lacquer, but she didn’t like “modern”, so she substituted blue
wood chairs. I wasn’t thrilled, but beggars can’t be choosers – and the quality
of the chairs has since outshined the design of the china closet and table.

This Tuscany painting was a Christmas gift when I decided to go copper in the bedroom.

Whenever she saw something that would be good for the decorating of my home she’d pick it up and give it to me for my birthday or Christmas. She seemed to find more sources for bringing my new copper color in with the blue that is my favorite, as with these throw pillows.

Two of the teapots she gave me – we used to have tea and Dr. Who in the afternoon.

This cup and a matching tea towel became the color theme for the master bath.

The flowerpot came from Mum’s sunroom. She gave me the collection of candle holders, and painted the triangular candle holder herself, showing her usual talent for customizing things that weren’t “just right.”

Mum made the original wreath out of red berries; I later embellished on it.

Each day as I walk through my home I see more reminders of how my Mum was a part of my everyday life. I wish now, in her dementia, that I was still part of her everyday life.

© 2014 Bonnie-Jean Rohner


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