Sunday, May 12, 2013

What's in a mug

I remember an incident some years back. I was visiting my parents and it was in the afternoon. We were in the lounge room watching tv. As always, I had a cup of coffee next to me. Then around 3 o'clock my dad announced it was time for Coffee (afternoon coffee was almost a separate meal in our house) and off he went to the kitchen to prepare coffee and probably a cake of some kind. My mum also got up, wobbled around the coffee table and asked if she should take my cup. Now, to understand this you need to know my mum suffered from dementia the last five years of her life. At this stage it was somewhere in the middle, she didn't recognise the present but she wasn't completely helpless either. She had lost her sense of balance though and it was almost a daily occurrence that you'd hear a "clonk" from somewhere in the house, and you knew mum had fallen over again. And what you also need to know is that we always had our own cups (mugs actually) when I grew up. When I was a kid it was unavoidable that you'd accidentally smash your mug every once in a while. The one I've got now I've had since sometime in the '80s (it's probably survived this long due to the fact that I moved out in the '80s and thus haven't used it all that much!). It's a Flintstones mug (I think my mum bought it for me but I'm not sure). Anyway, so on this particular afternoon 5-6 years ago my mum asks me if she should take my mug to the kitchen. It was a difficult question; I remember thinking there was a great risk she'd drop it accidentally on the floor due to her less that steady balance. It was my fave mug and it had history. I simply didn't want to lose it. But on the other hand, I didn't have the heart to reject her offer. She was ill, didn't have much enjoyment in life any longer, and - she wanted to help. So I said yes and crossed my fingers that I'd see my mug in one piece again. She wobbled to the door. Walked out. Closed the door. And I deliberately decided not to think about the possible ill fate of my mug. I probably turned on the tv. Five minutes later my mum wobbled back into the lounge room with the mug in her hand. She had washed it. She put it on the table and said, "One needs to have a clean cup". I said "I fully agree". Today is Mother's Day but, quite frankly, it makes no difference to me. I miss my mum always.


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