1. mousehold

    mousehold Registered User

    Mar 25, 2015
    27
    Norfolk
    I went through my mum's personal papers today, there was a box she had told me to look at after she died. She is in a home and alive but I am trying to sort out the house she has left behind and will never return to as she has gone so seriously downhill now. All her momentos were there and it was terribly poignant and heartbreaking. I kept thinking at least I am doing this and she is alive. I wanted to take some papers, like the scholarship she won to a grammar school in Spitalfields when she was living in the most deprived area of the East End and that she had been so proud of, to show her. There is no point I think. I wonder? I cannot keep up with her decline, feel like I am always 2 steps behind. Yet when I visit the bond is so strong I feel she understands everything. I feel I am in a time warp, a bad time warp. 4 in the morning and I am writing this drivel. Thank god for this forum.
     
  2. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    It's not drivel mousehold. I wish my mum had talked more about the past when she was well, but at least I now have some of the things she kept, like the glowing reference from her first job. It makes me wonder what will happen now we live an increasingly 'paperless' world. Even if we store electronic copies of all this stuff, I think it's much more likely it will be forgotten as there won't be the same need to 'go through' stuff.

    I am gradually sorting through all the family history stuff she and my dad collected so at least that will be in order. I'm so aware now that if I don't pass this on to my daughter and grandchildren it will all be lost, and that seems more important to me now my parents and parents-in-law are gone.

    It's a hard job, but there may be unexpected happy discoveries along the way.
     
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,555
    Female
    Scotland
    Genealogy

    If you want to turn this into a positive thing then you might start a family history beginning with your Mum and her story and going backwards to her parents and grandparents and beyond . You will become intrigued and find yourself immersed in the story of the wider family. If you have a computer then use one of the Family History programmes to record the details and to help you keep track. You will have an overall record but for interesting individuals keep separate sections inside a ring binder that you can amass paperwork like the certificates.

    Believe me this can take years but provide you with a wonderful sense of who you are and in most cases great admiration for your parents and ancestors.
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,664
    Kent
    It`s not drivel mousehold .

    I was told recently it was living the reality . Not the best place to be.
     
  5. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    152
    I suppose you could argue that it was great - though sad - that your mother had a past that you can feel proud of.

    It's my father-in-law who has dementia. I suppose his life is a mixed bag, and there are some things we can be proud of. But not that much.

    For example he wasn't a very good Dad to my husband. Limited probably by his generation and what was felt to be the done thing. He didn't look after his wife well and hit her sometimes. He sent my husband away to a school - abroad, at the age of 8 - where my husband was dreadfully unhappy. While pretending to be responsible, a man of the world etc he made a series of disastrously stupid financial decisions, which left him unable to provide properly for children - despite their expensive schooling. Or even to provide for himself. (My husband had to bail him out at one point.) One of my father-in-law's jobs involved forceful interrogation of suspects, which will have bordered on torture.

    So a lot of what we do is taking care of somebody, whose behaviour verged on the abusive - and really didn't actually provide very good care himself.

    Obviously a lot of people on this forum really do/did love their elderly relatives. But not everybody....
     
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,555
    Female
    Scotland
    Mrs Moose you have a great story for the family history right there! I wonder what his parentage and back story were which might explain his behaviour.

    I come from a fairly ordinary background as does John but over a period of twenty years have put together our family history and it as fascinating as the Tudors or Stuarts without the money or the politics! To me at least.

    We have only one mental health issue in my side of the family which was a great, great aunt whose medical history I was able to acquire through the archives. When I read it and put it together with her family circumstances I could absolutely understand why she went completely bonkers.

    Families are fascinating.
     
  7. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    182
    I am in the process of making a memory book for my mum and my daughter says it's brilliant and it's a history book for her to keep, x
     
  8. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,589
    It's dreadfully painful, Mousehold, to look at a person's life laid bear in paperwork.

    Even when it's filled with good things...I love your Mum's entry into Grammar School, my Mam did too and was rightly proud of it ALL of her life.

    All the more poignant for you as your Mum is still struggling with life.

    Too painful.

    But there was a point, there is a point.

    Even when faced with seemingly unbeatable odds, your Mum's intelligence shone through.
    She struggled and continued.
    Walking forward.

    Doing life.

    Love to her and you, continue her legacy.

    Walk on. xxx
     
  9. mousehold

    mousehold Registered User

    Mar 25, 2015
    27
    Norfolk
    Each response is so interesting, it must be the nature of this disease that makes people patient, so understanding and never patronising. It is so helpful to read. Re the family tree suggestions, I am a family history nut, don't get me going on that subject or I will bore you all to death! Thanks for replies, it truly does help.
     
  10. mousehold

    mousehold Registered User

    Mar 25, 2015
    27
    Norfolk
    Very good point because then you probably have anger and guilt in the equation. I can't do equations! It's like when someone dies and you think the funeral will be full of sad wistful people wafting around. Come the day and it's more like a family punch up - the nature of family ties is too difficult!
     
  11. Sianey

    Sianey Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    103
    Yorkshire
    Our past!

    MrsMoose very well put about past upbringing, Mmm rings a bell with me. ;)
     
  12. mousehold

    mousehold Registered User

    Mar 25, 2015
    27
    Norfolk
    By the way I took in mum's letters from her parents yesterday. We had a nice time going through them, well me reading them out. She can understand a lot of what's happening but just forgets 1 minute later. I thought how lucky I was to be able to do this while she was still alive and it made me feel better, and her too I hope. Piecing together what happened to her to get these letters I worked out she had TB when 9 (letters dated 1935) and was sent to Little Folks convalescent home in Bexhill. I read that the treatment was leaving them outside in all weathers! The things that generation went through, they are a tough old lot what with the 2 wars etc. I love going to the home now and all the people in it.
     

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