Friday, 15 May 2009


As time passes you forget what's gone before. You have to live in the moment, not realising that something has been lost. I have never been the sort of person to want to live in the past. I have enjoyed (or not!) what the day has brought.
But on Monday I got a glimpse of something I had a long time ago. Something that at the time I'd treasured. I'd hardly realised it had slipped out of my life, as I work with life as it is right now.

And what was this something? It was my son's vulnerability whilst he was ill.
Now I do not wish any more ill health on him at all. But to get to hold his hand, cause he was scared was a joy I haven't had for years.

The last times we ever held hands would have been on the walk back from infant school, up to about the age of him being 8. We would walk home with the dog we had then (see picture of Denny), and Alex would click his double jointed knuckles in my hand, which I hated.

When I held his hand on Monday I reminded him of this, and he clicked his knuckle. I still didn't like it, but I so liked the fact that he was needing to have his hand held.

I was allowed to rub his chest, to feel the fragile person he's become with all his weight loss, his ribs sticking through his muscle layer.

He needed me to rub his feet, whilst he lay uncomfortably on the trolley. His feet were so cold, although he was burning up. And I rubbed and massaged the dry skin till it felt warm to him.

At some point he rolled onto his side to sleep, his T shirt rolling up exposing his back, which I covered with blanket, but not before noticing the nodules of his spine poking through the skin.

I felt so sad and upset at this sight. This was my baby and I couldn't help him feel better. Although he had faith in what I've told him about what's wrong. It wasn't that, it was the frailty of human life and it being of my flesh that cut my soul.

He is without doubt an awkward critter when he's well. But to see my tough son reduced to this scared child was unbearable. For him to feel so ill that he needed his mummy beside him, even if I was just there reading. I was just needed there.

There was such a poignancy to this need for touch from him, that it was all I could do not to cry in front of him. I don't get to touch him very often anymore. There is the occasional hug that he volunteers, and the odd kiss on the top of my head on his way out of the house.

What has never stopped though is the telling of love between us, so on leaving him in the hospital at midnight I could kiss him and say I loved him, as we say to each other every night if he's around when I go to bed.

Today though, he's better. He's not stopped eating since he came out. Tonight I made one of his favourite meals, home made fishcakes with lemon mayonnaise and salad. It was the first time we'd sat down together since he was first ill. So it was an absolute pleasure to sit at the table and share our day with each other.

And tonight a new thing is happening, he is staying over at his girlfriends for the first time all night. So those precious moments of him needing physical contact by me are now a distant memory for him, as he needs the touch of his sweetheart.

As for me, just for a while I'm sad at the passing of the years of my child, as I hadn't realised how much I'd missed those contacts, that when I was getting them I never gave a thought to the time that they would be no more.

There is in all of us a yearning to be touched, and I know that is why I'm so glad to have Trix, so I can touch and stroke her. And she touches me with her cold wet nose and wags her tail to show that she loves me.

This is of course not enough,but it will be when I stop being sad,and then I'll be okay with what I've got in the here and now as I almost always am.


lakeviewer said...

This is such a warm and tender post, reminding us all of our basic needs and fears and fragility.

Dark Side said...

What a beautiful, honest and very loving post, as Lake said already thanks for reminding us of our basic needs and vunerability...xx

Merry ME said...

I was a nanny to a little boy for the first five years of his life. His mom just wrote to tell me he began shaving this week. I'm not sure how this could have happened because in my mind he is still the wee one I rocked in my arms for hours on end. There are many states between us so I'm not even able to watch him grow up. It's probably a good thing because I don't see him sitting in my lap for old time's sake!

Thanks for reminding me of those precious mom/nanny moments.

anya said...

What a beautiful post, Mandy. It made me think of Max and when he was young. I am glad he is a hugger and like you and Alex, he and I end most conversations on the phone with an "I love you" and always say it in person before bedtime when we are together.

I am so glad Alex is getting better.

karen said...

well said, FB! Have just read your earlier post, as well.. how great that you managed to get info on the syndrome, so as to know how to stop the future attacks. Not to worry, most of the youngsters I know in this part of the world smoke or have smoked cannabis. I,too, would much rather know about these things regarding the kids than be in a state of ignorance about it!
So glad he's recovering, and glad too that you have Trix. Pets can be so amazingly comforting! x

trousers said...

Another great post. If I may say so, hopefully without it sounding like a conceit on my part: I think your writing in itself of such things has become stronger and more expressive.


Pam said...

Big hug to you - this is a beautiful and precious post.It says so much about all of you.

Paula said...

Sad, but so moving and loving. You are incredible and his has a great mother.

Sorrow said...

GAwd This made me cry,
I went and grabbed my boy and hugged him tight..
All it took was the tears,
and he stood still!

Cynthia said...

I am so moved by this post...what a gentle treatment of a tender moment.

Thank you for sharing your story. I recently have been trying to hug my 22 year old son...and give him more physical affirmation. He had always pulled a bit away from me but now he seems to be responding.

I also appreciate your thoughtful comment at Oasis Writing Link. Love and healing to you and your son <3

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Just read both your posts and all I can say is you are a remarkable mum. Alex is very lucky to have you in his life, even though he's now growing up.
I echo what Lakeviewer has said.
And I look forward to meeting you later this week! :-) xx

voyagers2000 said...

This was such a lovely, yet bittersweet post to read. I'm starting in that same phase with my son. It's heartbreaking but necessary, I suppose. I remember my mother always saying I grew up too fast. I know now what she meant. Hope all is well with Trix. Jake bit me again today.

Val said...

ah the human touch - we all need it - our bodies need it - we need each other. having said that i think women as nurturers need to touch more often than our menfolk. one of these days maybe you will have grandkids to hug and spoil ;-)
hey you and nicky are meeting!!!!!
will be there in thought x

Angela said...

I agree to what Val said, and yay, you`ll meet Nicky! And soon me!!!

Paula said...

Hi, wanted to check on you. Hope all of you are doing ok. Hugs up North