Remember to care for the carers.
"Please Mum, don't worry"
"I'm your Mother, it's my job to worry." Of all the misguided lessons she'd learnt this was the most destructive of them all.
I started a worry jar. One dollar for each worry. Repeated worries cost double. I told her it was the easiest money I'd ever make. So entrenched was her duty to worry, she smiled and said she was willing to pay.
I tried to show her what an empty jar looked like.
Worry gave her a purpose. Her creative imagination wasted on wrestling anxiety and strengthening sorrows.
'Why worry?' I'd recite what I remembered of the Irish philosophy stuck on her fridge as we were growing up. '...Either you are healthy or sick... if you're healthy you have nothing to worry about. If you are sick you will either get better or die....if you die you have nothing to worry about' - or something like that.
Every afternoon around 4:00 o'clock, she'd worry about where the kids were. The neighbourhood's kids had become adults decades ago. I asked her all sorts of questions. 'Whose kids, how many of them, how old are they, where were they before..?' I knew she meant her own babies but still I tried to move a mind that had lost its way in 2012, and lingered at times in long ago.
In the end I stuck to reassuring her that everyone she worried about was happy and safe.
"Thank-you. That's all that matters." she'd say.
One morning I wrote her a note. Anything written down was important and trusted. It worked better than the worry jar. I gave her the same note almost every day. It would have been better without the date.
"2014?" she'd question. 'Already.' I'd say.
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