We Should Talk About Ann

It’s day 9 of the Introduction to Poetry Course and the subject is the apostrophe. This is a poem addressed to another person or object. It doesn’t have to be addressing the person throughout the whole poem, and I’ve decided just to address the people at the end.  It’s been a push to get this in. I’m running around trying to make Halloween Decorations and outfits and planning for a party of 110 on Saturday. Ok, it’s for around 25 – but that’s a lot!

In between making spiders and sewing denims into Marty McFly puffer vests; my mum came for a visit. Her blood pressure is high. She feels sad for my great aunt who has no one to care for her, but she’s being landed on my mum. I remember my mother telling me that she never had spare time when myself and brother were young because she was caring for older relatives. She’s in her late 60’s and feels like it’s happening again.  Although upset for my great aunt who will be left with no one else for months; my mum feels her health is suffering and she’s angry at my aunts sons expecting her to do it. My aunt also told them that my mother will be her carer!

Here is a poem I wrote after our conversation.  It includes apostrophe at the end.  It’s not particularly sophisticated or clever. I wrote it in between a depressed mum visit and frantic Halloween planning! I’m worried about my frail great Aunt and my mum though. My mother says “Don’t be kind. People take kindness for stupidity.” She has the kindest heart of anyone I know and yet she’s jaded and resentful. She also said that the problem is that people live too long these days. It’s an awful thing to say and I think she’s referring to the 4 sons who find their mother too big of a burden.

It’s changed days though. Families are scattered and not living close like before. People ARE living longer and usually when they need the care, it’s when the child may have grandchildren of their own and they might not be feeling as sprightly themselves. 60’s is a tough time!

I put her in a shower,

strip the filthy bed.

Ann’s forgotten how to cook,

She’s all mixed in the head.

 

3 sons in Australia

4th is on his way.

He forgot to pack his mum –

but has to go and play.

 

I re-cleaned filthy dishes,

got Ann’s shopping in.

Scrubbed her soiled knickers

took out bursting bin.

 

No one bothers coming –

I’m the only one who can.

I nursed Ann’s dying mother

This never was my plan.

 

Orphaned as a baby

Ann’s mum cared for me.

As she aged, the roles reversed –

was no longer care-free.

 

Ann had 5 siblings –

they had no time for mum.

Now history ‘s repeating –

look what Ann’s become.

 

I’m getting older

blood pressure in the sky.

I’m stuck here washing knickers

and I wonder why?

Why am I expected

to have these working hands?

I served my shift at caring –

when the turn was Anns!

You men are like your mother,

Ignoring those in need.

But you’ve got me, the soft touch

to tend to every need!

 

 

19 thoughts on “We Should Talk About Ann

  1. I totally get the words and feel for your mum, it’s so hard being a carer and even harder to walk away. The problem is while ever there is someone to do it everyone else will let them. My ex mum in-law cared for her husband, she went on to have a heart attack, then a stroke, he went into care and she was never the same again…..I don’t mean to sound depressing here but your mum needs to make some changes. Life is not meant to be easy. 😔

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    • Thanks 🙂 It’s difficult because my mum feels sorry for her. She wants to visit but is resenting that they’re going to disappear for months with nothing in place for her. It’s like leaving behind a toddler – she’s really not up to looking after herself now. I have told my mum that she needs to tell them how she feels and get extra help in place for her. She already has actually, but nothing gets done. It’s frustrating. Doesn’t’ help that my auntie doesn’t admit she can’t work the microwave and fibs that she’s washing and so on 😦

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      • It’s a difficult one, John was a carer for his wife for years, she had MS and it was when he was at the point of collapsing that help came. While ever your mum helps they will let her. Your mum needs to speak to your auntie’s doctor and ask for an occupational therapist to visit and a needs assessment….. your mum then has to be strong and tell them she can’t help… they will get things in place and the burden of care should lift off her. (I hope you don’t think I am interfering I just hate how the system works)

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      • No I’m glad of the suggestions, thanks. Mu auntie had an OT visit. No one told my mum when the appointment was and my auntie told her she was fine, the sons’ wife didn’t even go round to the house for the appointment. So frustrating. I told my mum what you were sayng and she says she’s probably going to try and get in touch with a social worker. Even if to get her to a club a couple of times a week. Mum thinks she might be losing her memory partly because she’s so lonely 😦

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      • That is so sad, shame on her children and definitely their wives. I love my ex mum in law, we don’t see each other often but my youngest daughter has stepped in where I helped. Washing and changing bedding, taking her to supermarkets, if it was left to my ex and his brother and wives she would be left to it. She lives in a beautiful bungalow with open views which she wanted to sell and live in sheltered accommodation but the sons said no! They want the money from the house Arghh people get me so mad. Tell your mum not to do too much just hound the system x and x for your mum

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  2. Fantastic rhythm with this poem! It definitely makes my heart sick to think your is being pushed into this situation — over and over in her life. Your poem definitely captures how overwhelming that can be. I just cannot imagine.

    I hope it helps release some of the emotions and energy you are experiencing in relation to what your mom is going through as well. I mean, her life impacts your life, so I think it is so important to tackle this, especially in writing. I suppose that is why I write too. 🙂

    On a lighter note, I sure hope that Halloween party was a blast! Maybe a poem will surface from that as well. 🙂

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    • Thanks. I hope they get help for my auntie and my mum can feel less stressed. I agree, writing helps process and think issues over. Party was great, adults were up dancing and lots of food and drink. So much work though. I’m shattered today!

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      • Glad to hear help could be on the way for your mom and aunt! 🙂 And I tip my hat to you for throwing the party! I’ve done it once in the past 8 years, definitely a lot of fun and a lot of work! Hope you have been able to rest up! 🙂

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