Look at it this way with Jacqueline Morley - March 18, 2011

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I haven’t told her, and if you’re on Ward 6 you’d better not either, that, if all goes well, her home could see adaptations installed over coming days, to equip it better for her needs, and, if I’m lucky enough to get carpet fitters prepared to shift furniture (because I’ve a dicky heart) a new carpet will replace the painfully threadbare falls-risk she currently has in place.

All of which means that she had better come out of Blackpool Victoria Hospital in one piece next week, after being fast tracked to vascular surgery today. At the point of writing I’ve no idea how she is.

The operation is taking place at this very moment. My mind is full of it which is why I am writing about it.

But I’m angry too. I’m angry because each week I meet mothers whose sons and daughters mean the world to them yet who can’t be bothered to call, let alone visit.

Of course, they will on Mother’s Day. It goes with the multi million pound industry. Greetings cards will be sent, flowers, and chocs, and loving assurances that they will be in touch. But some won’t, and they’re the ones I’m trying to reach this week, just as I try to reach them within my own family. There, a heavy hint!

There should be some perks to being a columnist, and castigating your ageing kid brothers for only calling once every blue moon should be one of them. Because, like so many middle aged women who act as primary carers (I call it being a daughter) to ailing parents, I tend to go it alone.

Indeed, if it wasn’t for the fact that I know I could count upon the kindness of friends, colleagues, and agencies such as Blackpool’s Disability Information Service, and Blackpool Carers’ Centre, I would be well and truly up the creek without a paddle. As it is, I have a life raft and waterwings, although snorkelling’s a bit smelly...

And what others seldom realise is ... it’s the little things, that take such little time, that make such a big difference to the morale of widowed mothers, such as mine, who might otherwise wonder why they sacrificed so much to get kids through university single handedly.

It’s a baby boomer thing apparently. A survey came out saying it’s the worst generation for keeping in touch with elderly parents. I can vouch for that.

Still, my youngest brother, nearly 50, called after the usual Facebook prompt (FB shame is a handy social networking tool in emotional blackmail) and left my mother laughing all way to the hospital today.

As for me? It only hurts when I laugh...