May 2nd, 2009


Mother - A Grateful Ramble to Nowhere in Particular

In a kind of odd way, my mother is a hero to me. She's done so much and walked the fires of hell a few times and yet always come back stronger for it, so I admire her. And I do want to have some of her qualities - her calm, her collected way of dealing with problems, her determination to go back and do more, her willingness to try something new. I'm working on those right now, and I hope I can be half as good a mum to my children than she is for me. If that happens, I'll win Best Mum of the Year Award.

I mean, hell yes, I admire her for everything. She went and did a University course and came out with an excellent degree and by proxy a job. She did the whole two years, ten weeks with two teenagers, a house to pay for, and just herself to pay for us and she was sick with her thyroid and her bad immune system. She pushed and pushed and made it through and she's walked through the academic hell to make her life and ours better. She's worked herself into grey hair and she's kept everything together.

And I love her for it.

All her work and her dedication paid off in the end, and I wanted to let her know that.

My proudest moment of her? Was when I saw her walking across that stage at the Sheffield Hall, and shaking hands with the head of the College of Occupational Therapy. I was so proud of her that day, all the blood, sweat, tears and grey hair and anger paid off when she got that certificate. I have a picture of her, in her graduation robes and holding her diploma, and she's smiling so much and me and my brother are either side of her, and I'm about one step away from crying a bit.

And I want to do follow in her footsteps, get a university education and follow my dreams - the only difference being my mum did that at forty, I want to do mine at nineteen. My mum has always regretted not going to Uni, but she's encouraging me to do it  and to go to Uni to study what I want, because she' s also going back to Uni. She's going back with the OU to finish the degree that she started - the last year of it still needs doing but it means she'll have two degrees to her name.

And then she wants to go and do Human Biology at A-Level.

Because she believes learning is a life long process and everything she adds to that makes life a better and more worthwhile thing. And I believe her. You never stop needing your brain and until you're twenty five the synapses in your brain grow and develop more and more - the more you learn in your early years of life, the more you create pathways between information and the better at it you'll get. Hence why children can pick up languages and sign language with almost freaky ease - their brains are programmed to absorb and retain the most during the first twenty five years of your life.

After that, you start to loose synapses and nerones in pathways you don't loose very often - your brain streamlining your mind to work only with the knowledge you need and access the most often - which is why people often forget how to do complicated maths or science if they don't use it in their everyday lives. By the time you're sixty, you're loosing bits of your brain - the mind needs to be kept active and interested so it doesn't stagnate and forget itself. Hence why in OT, people are encouraged to have new hobbies or learn something new when they hit middle age and old age. The body may fade, but in many, the the mind is the last thing to go.

But you also have to consider the amazingness of the brain - it can relearn how to do things - with the other side of the brain. People who have had strokes or brain injuries affect areas of the brain to do with speech or movement can suddenly start recollecting how to do things, even though that part of their brain might be gone or damaged badly. The brain redevelops nerual pathways to how to do things and the left side of the brain learns to compenstate for the right side, or vice versa.

I'm sorry to ramble, but I find the brain a most fascinating subject to learn about. It's one of the few parts of the human body that we know very very little about because there isn't anything obvious about it.

Back to my mum, yeah she's amazing.

And she's done marriage and divorce and falling in love and dating and being cool and she's travelled a bit (nowhere NEAR as much as she wants to though) so she's got a lot of experiences under her belt, as well as the whole teenage melarkey. She's also been a Nurse, a childminder, a school teaching assistant, a stay at home mum, a student, a CCO, a Occupational Therapist, a Senior Grade Occupational Therapist, a Group Leader and a Graduate of the College of Occupational Therapy. She's dealt with teenagers and their tantrums, legal issues, car accidents, illness, death, divorce, mental health problems (my grandmother) and she's holding it all together.

So yeah.

That's some of the reasons why I admire her.