Livet på paus - Nadja Wedin design

Life on pause

Sometimes things don't turn out the way you planned.We had planned a long trip to the USA this summer together with another family.I was both looking forward to the trip and agonizing a little.It can be a little hard to travel when you have an illness like mine, which comes and goes in irregular bouts.If I have a relapse, I can be forced to be more or less inactive for anything from a week to a month, because then I can't take anything.It's like having a bad flu in the body, and it aches everywhere, and it wouldn't work so well with the plans we had.At the same time, I have long dreamed of experiencing the United States.The country that I can spew bile over and still be fascinated by.And the nature reserves we planned to visit would be much-needed inspiration for my creativity, I thought.

Besides the concern for my own health, it was the case that my mother, who turned 87, had been unwell for some time.She suffered from dementia a couple of years ago, and in the last six months she had gotten much worse.Not that we thought she was going away from us even physically, but it was another reason that I had a little chagrin inside to go away for as long as five weeks, and so far away.

Just the week before we were supposed to go, we had to cancel the trip.The reasons we made that decision were several, and I won't go into details here, but the effect was that I felt both relieved and disappointed at the same time.As a substitute for the canceled trip, my partner Lars went to Åre with our daughter Alice together with friends and did everything that they like and I don't: they climbed mountains, rode, rode cable cars high up high (I continuously got pictures sent to me and these were enough to give me vertigo) and they had a wonderful week in every way.I myself was at home all alone with the cats.I usually find it a bit scary to be all by myself, but this time I really enjoyed my alone time.

I happened to win a week's rental of a motorhome in a competition when I called in the fundraiser for the World's Children at P4 Radio Stockholm, and the canceled trip meant that we could now include that trip in our life puzzle.So instead of a road trip to Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, we loosely planned a slightly smaller road trip to southern Sweden a little later in the summer.

When it turned out the way it did with the long trip, I instead had the opportunity to visit my mother all the more often, and I saw that she, like many other elderly people, was also very affected by the summer heat.Therefore, I felt grateful that I was not now on the other side of the world.Because we realized that mom was now about to leave us for good.

Me and my sister visited mom as much as we could.Last week we sat there and wet her forehead, dried her legs with wet towels, because it was so hot in her room at the dementia home.Luckily, we were able to borrow a fan and then it got a little better.

It went pretty fast at the end.The last week she was unable to eat anything and we only gave her a little water every now and then.We played her favorite music and held her hand, we told her we were with her and that she should just rest.We played "Stand by me" with Ben E King, "Hallelujah" with Leonard Cohen and "In the Summertime" with Mungo Jerry, and then we always got a response from her, she jazzed with her weak arms like she was dancing, and that was so very nice.It is well known that music is important for those who suffer from some kind of dementia, and we had it confirmed.

The last time was extremely stressful mentally and thank God that you were not alone in it, that you have your family with you.When you're sitting there waiting for death, because that's what we did, right then you're so focused on making every single moment valuable and so little trouble for mom that you just manage.But now that it's almost two weeks since mom passed away, now that it's starting to catch up with you, you feel how exhausted you are mentally and emotionally.It is probably now that the sadness will come, pictures from the time when mother was not demented.Her voice and laugh pop up a little now and then in my head and I get a big lump in my stomach when I realize that she is actually gone.

Mum would have turned 88 in October, so she has lived a long life, an interesting life! So it's not a tragedy what happened, it's only natural that an old person dies.And yet it feels so wrong.

The planned motorhome holiday had to be canceled as well because the timing of it coincided with mum starting to get really unwell.So this summer I will never forget, it was when the heat was crippling and absolutely wonderful, it was when we had to cancel everything, and it was the summer when instead it was my mother who traveled away to another world.

Because I think, I think she finally gets to dance again, like she did in her youth.I think she gets to meet her own mother who passed away when she was a small child herself, and I think she gets to meet her daughter, our other sister who is also no longer with us.

Bye mom, la mama, mamacita, see you!

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