Tag Archives: family

This moment.


This Moment

By David Milligan-Croft.

When I watched my mother dying,

Over a period of months, then weeks, then days,

Her eyes closed, never to reopen.

Her breath laboured,

Her skeletal frame sinking further into the mattress,

The morphine drip, drip, dripping into her veins,

I wondered whether she might be better off dead.

Not out of malice, of course, but out of love.

I wanted to see an end to her suffering.

This was not life – it was living death.

Before she entered this comatose state,

She spoke of sitting in her garden

Amidst the spring narcissus,

Surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

What was the point of thoughts of the future,

When there is only this moment?

This precise moment, where you are a prisoner

In your own decrepit body and locked-in mind.

But the nurse told me that you could hear us.

And I thought that, despite your pain –

Your second-by-second suffering –

It must be of some respite to hear the voices

Of your children close by. Sometimes talking to you,

Sometimes to each other – reminiscing.

Perhaps making an inappropriate joke,

Despite your circumstances.

The dab of a coffee-soaked sponge

To bring succour to your parched lips.

(Or Tia Maria, when the nurse pretended not to look.)

Then your grandchildren,

Pottering about your granny flat,

Wondering why this contraption of a bed was in the living room.

Bringing you gifts from the kitchen – a saucepan, a spatula,

Touching your paper-thin skin, telling you to ‘wake up, grandma!’

But you were awake.

That must have made you smile in your mind.

There is only ever this moment.

No future, no past.

Just a collection of moments to be cherished.

Or not.

So, my mind began to change.

I did not think you’d be better off dead.

I thought you were exactly where you should be –

Surrounded by your family,

Loving you,

In this moment.

For my mother,

Christine Milligan,

14th August 1943 – 2nd March 2021.

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Love – Things to be grateful for #354/365


Where’d we be without Love, eh?

Here’s where.

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Not a pretty sight.

What kind of love am I talking about?

I think there are five basic types of love:

1. The love of one’s family.

2. The love of one’s friends.

3. The love of one’s pets.

4. The love of one’s children.

5. Romantic love.

The love of family, friends and pets are pretty similar in some respects – when, no matter how big a dick you are – they still love you despite all your shortcomings.

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True, your friends get to choose you, whereas your family and pets don’t have an option. Still, it’s always reassuring to know that someone is there for you even if it is only a disgruntled pooch.

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Romantic love is a biggy. It’s probably the most euphorically ecstatic feeling a human being can experience. (Apart from synthetic drugs.)

It is also the most agonisingly painful when it isn’t reciprocated.

I suppose some people never experience true love. And that’s a tragedy. Some people do, then lose it. That’s just life.

I have been fortunate to have experienced love a couple of times, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to share that feeling with another human being.

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Of course, none of those relationships lasted and some were mind-meltingly painful to recover from. (Or was that the synthetic drugs?) But I’m still glad I got the opportunity to experience that sensation of pure bliss.

Finally, the love of one’s children. I was a very late starter. I had children in my early 40s. And something changed inside me. Literally. Chemically. I imagine it sounds quite odd to someone who doesn’t have them.

I have never known love like it. I would die for them. I would kill for them. Love is utterly unconditional. Non-negotiable.

Of course, they can be little shits at times too. Then again, so can I.

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Love can save your life.

When you’re at your lowest ebb, contemplating the futility of existence – it is often the thought of the people we love that can help save us from the abyss.

So, for all of those types of love I am very grateful. I know that if I never experience romantic love ever again, I will always be satiated by the fact that I have the other four. Well, the cat’s a bit shady, so maybe three.

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