And for some of the things that happened then and since, for all the love I will always have for you, I can't forgive you. And I can't understand why you wouldn't make a decision about some things and yet make shocking decisions about others. It is easy to put it down to the kidney failure but that isn't why, and we all know it.
There is no way anyone can prepare for the moment when the Doctors ask you to tell you mother she needs to decide whether to go forward or to pull the plug. And that if she decides to go forward she isn't going to make it anyway as the infection won't clear. And the Doctor asks you to tell your mother she is dying, and has a matter of days. I still haven't worked out why they asked me to tell you Mum? All I can think is that you were being quite unresponsive, and perhaps they felt you would hear me and not them? Please cut out my heart now. I am not strong enough to tell my mother that and not cry, I am sorry Mum. I love you.
But why did you disappear then, please tell me? The last words anyone heard from you were when you said "I love you Carol. I'm sorry". I hang on to that with everything I have. After that - where did you go? Was it because of the peritonitis, or the awful shock of knowing that your death was next door and waiting for you to follow? There were so many things I wanted to ask you but you left without another word. You wouldn't make the decision.
I wanted you to tell me why my only sister, my only sibling now, despises me? What did I do that turned her suddenly against me - we loved each other I thought. Once. She always had me there for her, always and in all ways. I wanted to know why you thought it was alright to give her house and everything in it to my niece? Jo was the only one there who gained. A house, all the contents, free and clear, no rent. Nothing to pay. Loser? Cathy. Winner? Jo. Why did you fall for Jo's "plan" to sell her mother's house and yours, and move everyone into a LARGE house together? As if.
She was what, 20? Had two tiny children, an invalid grandmother, a brain-damaged mother and a mentally handicapped uncle. And she still convinced you that all would be fine and she would care for everyone. She couldn't even vacuum for you as it was, just used you as a baby sitter and you couldn't see her evil, greedy, grasping strategy. You and Dad didn't have much, but she would have had it all.
I wanted to ask you what you were sorry for Mum? That you let yourself be persuaded to change your will a week before you died, and leave me not even a memento? Wasn't I always with you from the start? Doctors, hospitals, clinics, treatments, giving you injections all the time, taking the cat to the vet, cooking, cleaning, washing, shopping. Anything, and everything because I love you Mum. What did I do so wrong that you decided I didn't need to be remembered?
If you could, would you make it right? How could you take away the past years of heartache and anguish, they are lodged inside me until the day I die. How could you leave and then let the Doctors tell me to ask the family (big joke, family) to decide whether to stop treatment and let you die? You just stopped being here, and I don't understand how you could do that?
Yes, we said let you go, you had no resources left to fight with, the dialysis had stopped working. You wouldn't make it onto haemodialysis. So yes, let you go peacefully. While we became what felt and feels like murderers. Can you tell me why Mum? Do you know the tears we cried?
Every time I think that I have my mind at peace about this at last, something comes and hits me between the eyes, and I start being tortured by it all over again. There is one thing I pray and pray that at least I have been able to show Katrina, and that is that it is good to discuss things, no matter how difficult. To talk things over as mother and daughter or as a family.
Do you realise we had never done that? Not once. No discussion. Dad decided or Mum decided. End of subject. That is so hard to deal with too. Maybe you realised at the end that you had made a dreadfully wrong decision, and hadn't involved me in any of it? Was that why you said you were sorry?
For the chance of another day with you, I would give years of my own life, just to be able to finally talk with you properly - to MAKE you open up and talk to me. To explain your reasons, and ease my hurt by explaining why you cut me out at the very end. It is so hard Mum, how do I deal with the constant agony? It feels as though you disowned me and I can't see why? Do you understand? I can't understand any of it. I love you Mum, that will never change, and has never changed.
But now there will never be an answer. I can't pick up the phone as I did every single day and call you. I can't ask you anything ever again. And I can't forgive you because I will never know what made you think you could hurt me so dreadfully and that I would be alright with that. Because I don't understand. I just don't. You broke my heart. I am still not dealing well with that. The day you died I lost my whole family.
Your eldest daughter,