We always seem to be move from Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve with indecent haste. It’s six days but they pass in an instant and before we know it, it’s time for resolutions, resolutions we sometimes keep but often seem to be redacted from the memory come mid-January.
Well, here’s one resolution I have maintained beyond January 1st and intend to adhere to again in 2015. I was reminded of it in a message from a friend who recently lost his mother. It simply said: “Make the most of her.” I shall. I’m fortunate that Mum still knows me and the bond of love remains unbroken, resisting the dementia which has robbed her (and us) of much more.
I can’t think of a better resolution, and I shan’t restrict it to my relationship with Mum. A much-valued former work colleague is preparing to spend his first New Year’s Eve without his wife who died, suddenly, a few weeks ago. We never know what’s round the corner and we should all treasure, when possible, the time we can spend with those we love.
I used to look forward to the turn of the year. I always invested much in New Year’s Eve. These days, I prefer my December 31st to be much more low-key. Last year, I was fortunate to spend it with some of my closest friends and yet, as the hands of the clock hastened towards midnight, I found myself in the garden, grateful to be alone with my thoughts. Why, I asked myself and I think I know the answer. Alzheimer’s has changed Mum, of course, but it has also changed me. Sometimes, I find myself buried in thoughts, something which I don’t remember happening – at least not regularly – before my second-hand experience of dementia began. It’s been said so often but dementia doesn’t just change the lives of the people with dementia.
So, I’ll raise a glass to 2015 later but I might do it quietly. And I’ll think of all those who are spending New Year’s Eve caring for someone they love. May the new year bring you whatever you hope for.
My favourite picture of Mum from 2014.