Birthday Special

Apologies that this post comes a day late! This weekend I have been celebrating my twenty-third birthday with my family and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a position to write anything yesterday.

I loved spending time with my mum. She was beaming away all day, and kept saying to me ‘I’m happy’. Isn’t that all we really want?

We spent my birthday organising the new flat. It wasn’t the most exciting thing we could have done, but it meant she had a house full, and she thrives in that environment. The noise, the laughter, it makes her feel less alone. I was happy to spend my birthday cleaning and organising, just for that smile.

Plus, it’s not like we don’t go out when I’m up in Leeds. Wherever possible, we try to make plans to get out of the house and make some memories. Two weeks ago, for example, we went to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to see The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, a Christmas gift to Mum.

We used to go to the theatre every Christmas when my sister and I were little, and one year we did go to see The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. It seemed the perfect gift for Mum, to relive some happy memories.

The accessibility at the West Yorkshire Playhouse is a little dated, but still far superior to some places we’ve tried. The lifts are small, so I’m glad we left The Tank at home in favour of the manual wheelchair, and we had to be led down staff-only corridors to get to the disabled seats.

The disabled seats have room for two wheelchairs parked next to each other, which we didn’t like. We’d booked far enough in advance that we could sit beside Mum, but the family of the woman who sat in the other space had to sit behind. It seemed quite lonely, especially as Mum held my hand during the vast majority of the play.

On the other hand, the members of staff were incredibly helpful, and they provided a wonderful day for Mum. She laughed so much.

The plan for next time I’m visiting – in another two weeks – is to go to the cinema for the first time since she started using a wheelchair. She adores Aardman Animations, so it looks like we’ll have to go and see their new film.

So often, life with MND just seems so dark, so grey. There’s no escaping it. But, you know what? I feel pretty good right now. There’s definitely some sunshine breaking through those clouds.

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