I wrote this in the spring, when they took my mother into respite care; we though she would never come back. It is a big step, when your mum leaves your dad after they have been married over 60 years; he couldn’t look after her, she couldn’t look after him.

She quietly took the bag of toiletries I quickly picked up from Boots, the small case of clothes, I packed.  No fuss, no worries about possession or what would be useful, the goal was not to leave a noticeable gap, not to ask for help, not to be a hindrance.  If I hadn’t invested so much in trying to make her happy I might not have felt so bereft.

No shouting out, 

no screaming scenes.  

I gave her soap,

and moisture

creams.

A weekend case,

her worldly all,

No custody;

No overhaul.

As moving on,

Each day arrives,

Away from us,

she casually thrives.

I’m not her mother,

She’s not mine now;

She’s free, and frail,

And faint

somehow?

And now, she is stronger, we hope she will come home for Christmas.  It has been a year of surprises that we are now able to appreciate again.

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