I just got my mum back, so please Covid don’t take her away – Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews fears for her mother, who struggled with alcoholism in the past, in the coronavirus outbreak.

By Hayley Matthews
Saturday, 18th April 2020, 7:30 am
Hayley has been reconciled with her mother after having hasd a difficult relationship for years
Hayley has been reconciled with her mother after having hasd a difficult relationship for years

It seems a bit of an emotional write for me this week and whilst I try for the most part to keep things light-hearted, at times like this it can be hard to look to the positive.

My wee aunt Joyce who I haven’t seen since a good while before lockdown is in a care home where Covid-19 has been confirmed and I’m terrified I’ll never get to see her again. We’d all been very unwell at Christmas with the norovirus several times, then a bad cold, then the lockdown so it’s been months since I heard her say “Oh hello”.

All I can do is send positive thoughts that she doesn’t catch it and wait. Oh the waiting is really hard and I feel for all those who are just waiting on this terrible virus disappearing. For those who are just waiting until they can hug their loved ones again, I feel your pain too and it’s heart-wrenching.

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I also have a much harder situation to face, which is with my mum. I’ve written about her and spoken openly about our complicated relationship many times before but if there is anyone who I just want to make sure is OK and give a big hug to, it’s her.

Months on from writing a very short piece on growing up with an alcoholic parent, I’m still getting messages from people on how they’ve been or are going through a similar situation and I’d love to write the entire story one day – it will be my first book.

None of us are perfect

I’ll never forget a message from a nurse who told me she looks after a woman in a similar situation to my mum who cries herself to sleep every night on the ward because her family have nothing to do with her. I wish I knew who she was so I could go hug her too – after all we all make mistakes and none of us are perfect.

I know so many people can relate and that’s why I still write about our situation, mainly because it gives so many out there comfort to know that they aren’t alone.

We had such a violent relationship at times but I genuinely hold no grudge now, I forgive her and love her dearly and feel I have a glimpse of the person that she could have been had she been sober all those years ago.

However, it wasn’t meant to be so I’m trying to make the best of what we have now – and damn you coronavirus for not letting me see her! I feel I’ve been denied a mother my entire life and this happens just as we’ve fixed a very difficult relationship.

Very deep and raw

It feels that after years of being in a dark tunnel there is finally a burst of light. I’ve got a happy, smiley, compassionate mother – one who tells me things like how she loves me, how special I am to her and how lucky my children are to have me as their mother. Things I’ve always wanted and needed to hear from her but was denied because the alcohol poisoned her mind.

What she says now shocks me, but in a good way because there is no filter. She is so very grateful for the contact we have and I can see it. We have mended our relationship and it feels good.

The last time I saw her was surreal: she looked me right in the eye as I was leaving and told me how she loves me very much. It felt very deep and raw, like never before. I told her I love her very much back and I so hope that it wasn’t the last time I’ll see her.

So please coronavirus, if you spare anyone, please spare her. We still have so much to catch up on, so much to talk about and so many hugs still to enjoy. Don’t take my mum please, not yet.