The Teddy Bear Diploma.

I find that writing brings me healing, it’s part of my process and helps me in prayer. Please know that I’m sharing this post because I have worked through it over the last few days.

If you are wanting to read a light and fluffy post, this is not the one. My Blog is a place where I can be me. At times that means I need to be intense and gut level honest with myself with where I am at.

Love and hugs. xx :)

My lovely Mom

“Open your mouth Mom, try to keep this spoon full of Weetabix in your mouth please.” I smile at my Mom and spoon feed her as she sits in the hospital bed with a flannel on her head, thinking she is a university professor. I prepare myself for the next showering and just as predicted my lovely Mom blows the Weetabix out in a raspberry all over my face. I wipe my face again and get another spoon full. One thing I am certain of, my Mom is going to eat something while I’m there.

The door opens and a lovely lady vicar walks in, she had visited earlier and she knew my Mom well. My stomach churns and I feel anger bubbling up inside me. I couldn’t stand being in the same room as anyone who represented religion. My Mom looks at me smiles and says, “Look Lisa, can you see the sparklies?” She points above the lady vicars head and waves her hand around smiling to herself.

I look at the lady vicar, fake a smile and say, “My Mom is being the professor of reality today, that’s why she has a flannel on her head. She got her degree in the university of life.” I wait for something religious to come out of her mouth. She says nothing, just gives a loving smile and she sits down next to my Auntie. Every part of me wants to be away from her, wants her out of the room but I know in my heart that her presence is comforting for my Mom. I pass the Weetabix to my Auntie and ask her to carry on feeding and tell her I needed to go for a walk, find my sister and my baby *CAL.

The year is 2001, around this time in June

My Mom had gone from being a healthy working lady to having an acute psychosis in a matter of days. Things were about to get much worse and we had no way of knowing. One in a thousand the statistics show. Mom was that one. The next lot of medication was about to take Mom from acute psychosis to neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

I had lost my faith

The religious sect I had been part of had messed with my childlike understanding of God and out of total fear I had rejected all forms of religion. I was angry, I was hurting, I felt so desperately alone and I thought I was going to hell. So in an attempt to keep functioning and living my life, I chose to reject everything I had once believed in.

Mom never recovered totally

The reaction to the medication did wear off after 4 months, but she was in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She died age 55 but in the 3 years she was disabled God used her to restore the faith that religious manipulators had taken from me. My Mom brought Jesus back into the equation. She wasn’t perfect and boy did she have a temper at times. What she always held onto, Jesus was her friend, He would get her through. God loved her unconditionally and one day she would see her Mom and Dad again in Heaven.

Teamwork…we made it work!

Dad gave up work and he became Mom’s fulltime carer. Every day I helped Mom get out of bed, washed and dressed. We’d sit and chat and plan the day. Dad is Autistic so he needed guidance with everything. We planned when the washing needed doing, what days to vacuum, what days they would go out and where they would go. My sister came every afternoon and sorted all Mom’s medication, kept her company and helped Dad to do what needed doing. Mom had always looked after everyone and now she couldn’t. For the first few months she was still slipping into mild psychosis. She had no strength, her one hand would sometime still cycle and some days she couldn’t breathe well.

I have wonderful memories of who she was

I had a beautiful Mom and I was blessed to have her for 35 years. We were so very precious to her, we were her life. Even while she was so ill she still kept giving unconditional love. One day Dad had left Mom at my house, he left her in her wheelchair in my front room. *CAL was about 2 years old and Mom was chatting to her while she was playing on the floor, they were watching Dora the explorer. I popped into the kitchen to make a cup of tea and when I came back into the room my Mom was sat on the floor playing toys with her precious baby Grandaughter.  I said, “Mom, what are you doing? How did you get on the floor? How am I going to get you back into your chair?” She giggled at me and said, “Well, Nanny’s are meant to play so I threw myself onto the floor. I’m not sitting in that thing when there are toys to play with. And, as for getting me back in that thing….I’ll stay on the floor till your Dad gets here. If I get tired just throw me some cushions.”

That’s who she was, to me that’s what being a Nanny is about.

Both my Nans and my Great Grannies were the same. I wish my kids could have had their Nanny for longer. I wish my *CAL could remember who she was. I wish my little nephews would have met her, little *EJ looks so much like her. I know she would have loved reading my blog, she loved my poetry and my art. She always made me feel like she could make everything better.

While she was psychotic

My Mom made me what she called my Teddy Bear diploma. It is an orange folder with all my achievements in it. They are not massive achievements in worldly standards, but everyone of them was something that terrified me. Something Mom talked me through, she broke things down and made them simpler. After Mom died I carried on collecting my Teddy Bears in this folder. Simple things that caused me fear, but I found a way to do them. Mom taught me how to think things through, to step back and look at them differently. To believe that God would help me find a way. To have faith and keep trusting in Jesus one day at a time. I have collected all sorts of bits and pieces that no one apart from me knows the meaning of.

I see my blog as an extension of my folder

Every time I publish I have a certain amount of fear that I pray about, then push through it. Mom was very good at letting me babble, I know that sometimes she would turn her hearing aid off and just smile and nod. But for me it was being able to sit face to face and have no fear of being myself. Feeling totally loved and accepted for who I am and knowing she would give her last breath for every member of her family.

No she wasn’t perfect but she was my perfect Mom.

Look Above

by Alienhippy (Sept 04)

As time goes by we see courage

From people we know or we love

When we’re least expecting to see it

We see someone we know turn above

~

A person gets strength from believing

And encouragement from feeling their worth

In times of trial, we curl up and cry

This instinct we are given at birth

~

To take all our problems inward

Makes our hearts break our minds ache

To give in to prayers and petitions

Is the thing we should do as we wake

~

The fear we feel of the unknown

Is what makes us take on all our woes

But when we learn to trust in the Lord

The worry and pressure….. it goes

~

God gave us His Son our example

For our sins he felt pain on the cross

So when we are lost and don’t know where to turn

We should follow our saviour…..Jesus

(I wrote this poem for my Mom the month before she died)

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17 thoughts on “The Teddy Bear Diploma.

  1. I adore this post. Though this was a very painful time for you and your family, and you and your mother endured much, this overwhelming and distinct love shines through. You created a world I could step into and be with you. I saw the hospital room, saw you helping at home, saw your mom on the floor. This was brilliant. I am so very sorry for your loss. I am so thankful I got to feel a small piece of your mother’s spirit. What a glorious lady! God Bless You, Sam :)

    • Thank you my lovely friend, this post was so very healing to write.
      So glad you felt able to step into my world and meet who I was back then.
      Also get a little glimpse of the wonderful lady my mom was.
      Love you loads. Lees. xxx :) <3

  2. You are so precious, Lisa, just like your wonderful mom. I love the idea of the Teddy Bear Diploma. I may have to do something like that for my family :)

  3. You are so precious, Lisa, just like your wonderful Mom. I love the Teddy Bear Diploma, and I may have to implement something like it for my family :)

    • Hello lovely Merri, the Teddy Bear Diploma is a wonderful idea and has helped me so much to see my achievements that no one else would recognise.
      Love you my friend. xxx :)

  4. Your Mother sounds like a truly wonderful lady. I think she lives on in you. I pray that your life doesn’t bear the burdens she had, but if you do, I know you’ll carry them with grace and love just as she did. Sending love and hugs across the pond. :-)

  5. Lees, I am sitting here in tears wishing that I could give you a big hug. I know you’d make an exception for me …wink wink…
    It doesn’t seem fair that you only had her for such a short time but I’m thrilled that you have such wonderful memories of her. I love the teddy bear diploma idea…..my Harley would benefit from that!!!
    You are extra special and a blessing in my life. You wrote this brilliantly and your beautiful heart was so evident through it.
    I know you’ve been going through some *stuff* in other areas of your life and I pray that God will use this writing as a stepping stone towards complete healing.
    Love you loads xxxxx

    • Hello my precious Fi, yep…you are right I will make the exception. :)
      Thank you for being you and always praying for me, you are such a precious gift in my life and I thank God every day for who you are.
      Love you all the world and a bag of sugar.
      Leesy. xxxx {{{{HUG}}}} X

  6. Your Mom was wonderful and the best. I feel Blessed to have had her in my Life and I see that her ways live on in her Children and their Children. Best example and Teacher I ever had. Love you xxxx

  7. I didn’t think I would be able to get through this post or listen to Spirit in the Sky, but I’m glad I did, it’s a wonderful Testimony and has brought me Healing. God Bless xxxx

  8. Pingback: Just me in my Aspie-oddness | Alienhippy's Blog

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