My 90 year old mother has dementia. The word dementia comes from the Latin dementiae. In the dictionary, it is defined as, madness, distraction or folly. The mum I knew is slipping away and all I can do is massage her dry skin with rose scented cream, hold her hand and try to bring her some joy.
Some weeks the phone calls from my mother are so numerous, angry, repetitive and bat shit crazy, that I find myself glancing at shite online trying to distract myself while I listen to her tell me stories that I’ve heard 100 times. These conversations become so bad, that reading updates on LinkedIn seems like a good idea.
But this week I found the upside to my mother’s dementia.We had a cup of tea and then she handed me her mail.
“Do you know what to do about this?” she said. I looked at the envelopes and realised that amongst the bills and a letter from Centrelink, was the ABS voting form for the Same Sex Marriage survey. I grinned.
“Yes mum, yes I do. If any of your friends here in the nursing home need help with this, I can help them too.” Helping people, that is what Christians who want to heal the world can do.
When married people say,
“My husband/spouse/ball and chain is away for a weekend, a week or three months, so I’m a single parent,” I grit my teeth.
No, you’re not. Your partner, though absent, is still contributing financially and emotionally to the other partner’s well being and that of the children. and when the absent partner returns they often do things that compensate for their absence. Single parenting with no other parent helping financially, mentally and emotionally on a day to day basis is not how children should be raised. It’s too much stress on one person.
Stress makes us humans crazy and sick, so my oldest childhood friend and I, who is also a single mum, have escaped. By the time you read this we will be somewhere in Norway searching the fjords for strapping vikings. Our dear friend bought us air tickets so we could attend his wedding in Oslo. I won the lottery when it comes to the wealth of my friendships. Skal!
Motherhood is not what you gave up to have your kids, but what you gained from having them
March is proving to be the month of love, I’ve been inundated with offers. I was initially reluctant to try online dating, but after reading this email, I’m not going to be shy about signing up to meet lonely singles in other countries.
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He’s sent me so many messages, but I think in person Corgi Bernardi is the strong, silent type. I hope so.
China’s singletons celebrate Singles Day (or ‘bare sticks’) as an alternative to Valentine’s Day on November 11 — or 11/11, the date representing all the lonely people. Being single on Valentine’s Day is a big problem in China, where there are millions more men than women because of the country’s one-child policy. Sitting on the bus with no one beside me is fun, but I’d love to celebrate being alone with other sad singles, is anyone throwing a blind date party tonight?
In three weeks I’m performing my second solo stand up comedy show at The Factory Theatre, and I’m hoping more than four people and a dog come to see me perform. My show is called Looking For Mike Brady. Hopefully my future husband will be an architect like Mike Brady, because architects earn enough money to support a wife, 6 kids, a live in housekeeper, holidays in Hawaii and a big house. But knowing my luck with men, my future husband will probably be sitting in the audience disguised as a happily married gay man. I’ve written some silly songs and a whole lot of new material and if I can remember all of it I think it will be a great night of laughs. You can buy tickets here: sydneyfringe.com
Let us stop for a moment as we remember today was the birthday of the playwright Harold Pinter. The fabulous modern showgirl David Lee Roth was also born today.
As I reflect on my single mother status and wonder if I should be married and living in happy couple land, I think of famous marriages in history:
On this day in 1975 Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton celebrated wedding No. 2.
I dreamed a dream in time gone by…. As my birthday nears I am thinking of what I want to do with the rest of my life. When I turn 50 (in about 20 years) I will dye my hair pink, drive a sports car and be married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas. I just have to catch me a husband who will behave himself. I will sing my own song and never, ever eat celery again.