Monday, 31 December 2012

Wishing all the best for 2013


Hi
Wishing you all the best for 2013 and the happiest of New Year and thank you for the great support over 2012
The kindness from people who have supported this wee awareness campaign most of whom I have never met in person  and the support given to  me as a son especially whilst caring for my mum and when she sadly passed away a few months back has overwhelmed me and I am grateful. And only emphasizes my belief that its people who change things .we rely on governments to put strategies and polices in place as a guidance to work from but its people who change lives for others and uts people who can guide future strategies and policies
I wish you all the best of understanding, support, kindness .and awareness
Thank you and a happy new year
Tommy

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Saying goodbye # 2012,

Saying goodbye to 2012
 Well its nearly over, 2012 is coming to an end and for me like many,it has been the toughest of years .for all the struggles and joy we faced over the last years the months leading up to September when mum passed away where not only tough but overshadowed by sadness for many months as dementia and health issues took their toll ,I felt helpless to halt the advance and looking back so many things could have been so much better ,in fact that’s the story of the previous years not only 2012 and I have to say dementia finally broke my heart ,a heart that will never quite heal ,it was to hard to often and mum like so many others deserved better than we got and I was able to give .the period over Christmas has been the loneliest of times in this house I desperately miss my wee mum and the only thing that gets me through is this wee campaign we started together .In fact I was thinking that today how lonely I would be without this campaign and the kindness of others who feel like I do. And that’s an issue we have to look at how we support people after caring is over but that’s for another day looking to 2013 my hope is to take this awareness work to a wider audience to more people in the hope that others have a better journey than we and too many others have had and the hope that people looking back will have had the best support the best of understanding and the best of chance .This will only happen by speaking about dementia by helping people access help and advice as quickly as possible and making sure that help and advice is given in the correct manner
I have heard from so many people over the last year who had no knowledge of services available or how to ask. and for me that is a tragedy in itself for all we wish for ,not having access to help that is available cant be allowed reaching a crises cant be allowed and we can all be part of changing that .and the best way is to bring the discussion of dementia to the  table ,to communities and across families every time a family reaches a crisis we all let them down we can change that we can change lives understanding and awareness and that in my own small way is my plan for 2013

Thank you
Tommy
#rememberjoan   

Today meeting Glasgow CC carer champion Dr Christopher Mason


Hi
We we start early in the new year with the awareness campaign .A few months back Glasgow City Council announced a carer Champion Dr Christopher Mason to engage with both carers and Glasgow city council .I was invited to the launch a few months back and we are meeting this Thursday January 4th to chat about his plans and my campaign .I have a few ideas for carer engagement and I look forward to the meeting and hopefully a good working relationship
Tommy

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Collecting life stories raising awareness 2013 the campaign goes on can you help ?


Collecting life stories raising awareness 2013 the campaign goes on
 For the last year I have been collecting life stories, experiences good or bad to raise awareness on both dementia and caring, I have taken the life stories to Government, local authorities, NHS and beyond. In 2012 I was caring for my mum Joan and had been for the last 5 years till she sadly passed away on September 22nd, then I was raising awareness during  my respite hours .for 2013 this will be my full time focus ,I hope you can help me by adding you’re thoughts ,opinions or life stories to add to the hundreds already received and help with the ongoing and new awareness plans and projects I have
You can add yours at tommy@i-woz-there.com  
My promise is to take those stories as I have done to the people who need to read them and raise more understanding on how we live and feel, they say the pen is mightier than the sword I hope my campaign of words helps prove this

Thank you
Tommy

More dates, talks and awareness projects starting in the new year ,the awareness campaign goes on
January 4th meeting Dr Christopher Mason Glasgow carer champion to discuss both our plans
January 10th attending Dementia Dialogue event Paisley (a discussion on Scotland’s dementia strategy)
January 17th speaking at RAD directorate Victoria infirmary (Charge Nurses)
January 17th meeting health minister Alex Neil at Scottish Parliament
February Date TBC 2ND meeting GCC dementia working group based on my motion passed
February 15th speaking 3rd year mental health students’ Caledonian university
February 20th speaking 1st year mental health nursing student’s Caledonian university
March 14th speaking at Lockerbie carers
March 22nd speaking at SDRCN Conference Stirling
April speaking at labour party conference fringe meeting Inverness
 More talks waiting for dates to be confirmed
 On – going projects all starting mid January
 Carer engagement film a new film about carer engagement
Dementia through art exhibition based on my life stories
Academic paper with leading university based on my life stories

You can add you story to help others at tommy@i-woz-there.com

Friday, 28 December 2012

Hopes and dreams for 2013 a promise to mum

Hopes and dreams for 2013 keeping a promise
2012 was the toughest of years .Dementia finally took its toll on my wee mum and she passed away on September 22nd and life for me will never be the same .the 5 years caring for my mum changed our lives for ever and the scars and joy are evident in my heart and mind tonight as they where yesterday and will no doubt be there tomorrow .Time might change the memories and ease the hurt. but a full recovery seems an impossible task at this time, in amongst this journey we started our wee campaign to coolest life stories and raise awarerness. I made a promise to mum, when this campaign started the dilemma was how would my mum feel about me speaking about our journey to others at talks and t through any form of media who would listen and share and to do this I had to share the most intimate and personal side of our lives .That dilemma was answered by the way in which my mum lived her life, her ability to care about and for all she met told me it was ok and that is the driving force still for this campaign to care and be cared for with respect ,dignity and understanding and that promise I made to my mum is stronger today that I would tell our story and collect others to try and bring more understanding to allow people to be given the respect they deserve and that their dignity is given at all times
And that promise extends to all who share their experiences good or bad that I will take their stories to decision makers to a wider public and bring more help and understating  any way I can .our Journey like so many other could have been so much better and as a society we have to change dementia from a whisper to discussion as its people who change lives and unless we talk about it ,unless we challenge the negatives and promote the positives then to many others will sit like I sit tonight suffering from a lack of understanding within and a lack of understanding towards when it really mattered every day I cared for my amazing wee mum

So my hopes and dreams are no surprise more awareness more understanding and respect and dignity to all who face this challenging often cruel illness

Tommy

Invited to speak Scottish Dementia Research Conference March 22nd Stirling University

Hi
With great thank to the SDCRN for inviting me to speak at their annual conference on March 22nd .I look forward to speaking about life caring for my wee mum ,the life stories I receive and the people I have met  on my tour along with showing my short film .
Speakers over the two day event are as follows  
Professor John Obrien (Cambridge)
Professor Peter Passmore (Belfast)
Dr Patrick Kehoe (Bristol)
Simon Ridley (Alzheimer research UK)
Professor Pauline Banks (UWS)
Dr Gary Stevenson (Stratheden hospital)
Dr Maggie Robertson (University Highlands and Islands)
Shirley Law (DSDC Stirling)
Tommy Whitelaw Tommyontour / dementia carer voices

You can get more details on the 2 day event at the link below
Tommy

Thursday, 27 December 2012

2012 some campaign Photos



tommyontour 2012

my heart was broken when my mum passed away on 22-09-12 .Our campaign to rasie awareness goes on

some photos from the last year



Wednesday, 26 December 2012

A quiet Christmas

A quiet Christmas

Hi
I hope you had a lovely Christmas .for me this was the first since mum passed away 14 weeks ago and I was anxious about how it would be. I wont say it wasn’t a sad day in my heart, it was, its hard to escape the sadness on most days at the moment and the added pressure in some ways by most people telling me or highlighting how difficult it would be with I understand the best intentions add to the anxiety beforehand So I decided to spend the day on my own, Most days caring for my mum over the last 5 years where spent on our own including Christmases ,so for me it was the best way to get through .So it was a quiet day with a few more tears than usual but a peaceful one. The loss of a loved one brings many challenges and significant days in the calenderer highlight the loss, but each time I cry and each time the memory of this journey we faced comes  to forefront  of my mind ,my passion to raise awareness increases .it was a quiet and sad day but I am learning to add the happier memories to the tough ones and today I focus on my awareness plans ahead ..In many ways I am glad yesterday is over as normal focus on today before tomorrow
I hope you had a lovely Christmas and hope you will keep in touch and if you have a story to share you will add to my campaign for 2013
Thank you
Tommy
Collecting life stories raising awareness        
You can add you’re story at tommy@i-woz-there.com

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas


Hi
Merry Christmas
Wishing everyone a merry Christmas
 Thank you Tommy  

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Strength and weakness

Strength and weakness
Caring for my mum challenged my mental health to often and to far sometimes ,to be honest the only thing that stopped me from falling was my mum .her love her kindness and her need to be cared for ,it took all my strength. Any strength I had or found was in a constant battle with weakness, and to often I was to weak .since my mum passed away weakness takes overt to often and this battle with I believe mental health issues is a harder battle than ever .Caring for my mum was my goal my passion and with mum beside me kept us on the ride side of the line .Now looking back I am not so sure ,this journey this battle with dementia affected me then and still does today .I as I have since my campaign started feel strong when raising awareness or doing talks feel strong ,but not when I get home ,yes I have a broken heart but mire than that can be broken and the battle to not fall apart continues .dementia and caring will test your strength and control any weakness
Tommy     

Friday, 21 December 2012

Wishing all a peaceful Christmas - Thank you


A wee message of thanks for all who taken time to visit my wee blog or have supported or shared my wee awareness campaign .I wish ypu  all a peaceful Christmas and Happy new year when it comes
This can be a difficult time for many people and with my wee mum passing away in September it will be a time to look back and cherish the good times I hope. I cared for my wee mum for 5 years and some words or feelings  that come up often within the life stories I receive and are reflected in my own experience are loneliness ,isolation and understanding .For all we face in life there are many things we can’t  change ,my mum had vascular dementia  an illness at this time we cannot cure ,but we can cure loneliness ,isolation and understanding  .we were painfully lonely to often over the years caring for mum and it takes its toll .So I hope if you read this you might pick up the phone ,or send a wee card to tell someone you are thinking of them .that gift of love and understanding  is a wonderful gift to give. If you have a family member friend .neighbour or anyone for that matter that might a need a few words of support, then hope you give them. You might make their Christmas less lonely you might even change their life

I know about loneliness  I felt  it in my heart to often and I also know the difference words of support can make to the loneliest of hearts

 Thank you for supporting my awareness campaign and a merry Christmas to you all

 Tommy

Tommyontour film on NHS gg&c site a carers journey



Hi

With great thanks to Daniel Connelly and the NHS gg&c community engagement team for hosting my awareness film and blog on their site .I have been a guest speaker at  few NHS events this year sharing my experiences on life caring for my mum and the life stories families send me I will be speaking soon at the Victoria infirmary Jan 17th to charge nurses

Thank you for helping give carers a voice

 You can view the page at the link below

NHS gg&c
http://www.nhsggc.org.uk/content/default.asp?page=s1476_1

tommy

Dementia Carers Voices new project based on the tommyontour campaign with support from the Scottish Goverment #awareness

Dementia Carers Voices

Reaching out to carers of people with dementia and giving them a voice through a “letters campaign” has been part of an awareness raising activity of Tommy Whitelaw, who has experienced first hand what it is like to care for someone with dementia. Tommy has also made a film about dementia and caring for someone with dementia with a view to reaching a wide audience in the UK and beyond.  Read Tommy's blog .
Dementia Carers Voices is a new project building on the awareness activities from 'Tommy on Tour ' project and the ALLIANCE.  This project has been made possible with funding from the Scottish Government.
The ALLIANCE recognizes the importance of the Carer Voice in informing future service provision and in empowering carers themselves. To this end the Dementia Carers Voices project aims to
·                  Harness the work undertaken to date, particularly by the Tommy on Tour campaign
·                  Develop this by supporting Tommy Whitelaw to undertake further outreach work to carer organisations across Scotland
In doing this, the ALLIANCE will highlight the importance of family carers being enabled after diagnosis to build and sustain a network of support, preventing crisis situations and feel enabled to ask for additional help when it is needed;
·                  Capture the experiences of carers across Scotland with a view to informing future policy and service provision
·                  Raise awareness of the issues around caring for someone with dementia including among health and social care students
·                  Empower carers by providing information based on the Charter of Rights and Carer Strategy about caring for someone with dementia
·                  Highlight the role of Carers as natural resources; Carers as people with needs; Carers as people with independent live
·                  Work with other Carer Organisations and key stakeholders to ensure that relevant strategies are well informed by the views of service users. (As a network organisation which includes organisations such as - Alzheimer Scotland, Carers’ Coalition and Age Concern within our membership, we are well placed to undertake this role).
The project will do this through visits and talks to Carer Organisations; the provision of written materials with key carer messages; dissemination of information including through social media;  network events and consider possible future film to raise awareness/understanding.
For further information read the Dementia Carers Voices Information Report or contact Project Lead Irene Oldfather or Awareness Campaigner Tommy Whitelaw.
Tommy produced a short film, which includes families and carers reading from the letters they sent him.
Photos from Tommy on Tour awareness raising campaign.



Thursday, 20 December 2012

My motion passed Glasgow city Council your words can help #dementia


My motion passed Glasgow city Council your words can help #dementia #Caring

 Back in February I took life stories and reports on the life stories people send me to Glasgow City Council  and had a cross party motion passed as below We met a few weeks ago to set this group up and meet again early February to start the new GCC dementia working group ,this was based on peoples lives in their own words I hope you can help me collect more thoughts and opinions before the next meeting to keep this a motion by people for people  you can send you’re thoughts to
With thanks to all who passed this especially Cllr McDonald Cllr Flanagan Cllr Kerr and Ann Cumming from SW GLASGOW  

 MOTION
Council recognizes the inspirational efforts of Tommy Whitelaw in raising awareness of the issues effecting the carers and families of people suffering from Dementia through his “Tommy on Tour” campaign
Council agrees to set-up a Cross Party Working Group to engage with carers and to ensure that the services provided to carers are appropriate to the needs of the carers and those suffering from Dementia and that the Working Group’s findings be presented by Council to the Scottish Government.
Tommy
Son, awareness campaigner
#rememberjoan

Job center today, then meeting with Liza who produced radio show about life stories for a catch up


Well I have my now new fortnightly visit to the Job center,after 5 years of caring and isolation socially ,much like my job seekers allowance its all a bit of a struggle .I have to say though that the gentleman I deal with is very understanding of my circumstances and my desire that nothing gets in the way of my campaign .I am kind of used to scraping by, 5 years of caring will do that to you .My days are pretty much full up for the next months with talks and projects so its all a bit of dilemma .I need to find a job to survive but not at the cost of a campaign that is my passion .so who knows how things will go .After the JC  I am meeting the lovely Liza who produced the Sally Magnusson special last month on the life stories on BBC  radio Scotland ,she kindly got in touch to take me for a coffee and see how I was coping and doing .we hear many negative stories about Journalism I have met so many kind passionate journalists over this campaign and this is another example of someone who cares .and I hope she is getting the coffees as it would be a strain on my Job seeker allowance and might ruin my opinion of kind journalists (only kidding)
Tommy

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

2012 A broken heart and inspired by the kindness of people


2012 was the toughest of years and the toughest of the 5 I cared for my mum .22-09-12 when my wee mum passed away finally broke my breaking heart .we had many struggles over  the years, my mums struggle with dementia and my struggle to care and witness, the last 6 months any struggles where overtaken by a great sadness in my heart and my mum grew weaker and was confined to bed and when it does not feel so raw or sore I write my mums story in full not defined by dementia but kindness .and an ability to care for and about all she met .for all the struggles we faced ,we also faced great kindness ,this campaign started together in my mums name has inspired my heart much like my mum inspired me .the kindness of people I have met and many many more I have not but have taken this campaign to heart shows me that tragedy can be matched by kindness. I am grateful to all who added value to my mums journey .I grateful to all who have been part of this campaign in person or on social media .the amazing people who have shared their life stories with me and who have shared this story 2012 will always be remembered as a year that broke my heart along with a year that many people made my heart smile .my mum would be so grateful for the kindness shown as I am, so thank you
You may have broken my heart 2012 but you have only made my desire stronger to raise awareness.
Thank you for the kindness the support the greatness of people
Tommy  

My mum Joan, I miss her

Hi
For the last years I have tried my hardest to be strong .and to often any strength I had was challenged ,watching dementia take its toll on your mum or on anyone will affect you .For the last year I have had my awareness campaign to work on and in may ways it has helped me personally ,trying to keep up with all dementia brought to us and during the 14 hours a week respite I working on my campaign kept my focused .and yes I cried a lot late at night when mum was asleep I cried ,I mean this is my mum .this is my mum facing the greatest of challenges and as much as I tried ,I was helpless against so much since my wee mum passed away 11 weeks ago I have tried to work harder on my awareness campaign as I have time ,but time is bringing other challenges ,to much time to think back to the struggles and yes there was joy I know that ,but just now I can only feel the struggles and mistakes .I have no problem doing talks or working on projects as this was something I left the house to do each week while my mum was here right to the end .but I always had the amazing person who was the biggest part of my talks to come home to and to care for .but now even as I walk down the street towards the house  as I always have done look up to mums room as for the last months she was there 24/7 and this empty house just sends me to tears to often .my wee mum has gone as is much of my strength and I just miss her .I like many have had my heart broken before but this is different ,this is so painful sometimes and I think what I am really trying to is I just miss my wee mum and I always will I just wish it wasn’t so painful. Dementia does note define my mum .she was to great for that but it breaks my heart today like it broke my heart on many others of a journey so hard and a wee woman. my mum like many others who deserve a wee bit better
  
I dont know if the above makes sense but its how my heart feels today tomorrow we try to feel better but no matter what we take the campaign forward ,dementia cant stop that

Tommy

Awareness projects starting in the new year ,the awareness campaign goes on

Hi  

More dates, talks and awareness projects starting in the new year ,the awareness campaign goes on
January 4th meeting Dr Christopher Mason Glasgow carer champion to discuss both our plans
January 10th attending Dementia Dialogue event Paisley (a discussion on Scotland’s dementia strategy)
January 17th speaking at RAD directorate Victoria infirmary (Charge Nurses)
January 17th meeting health minister Alex Neil at Scottish Parliament
February Date TBC 2ND meeting GCC dementia working group based on my motion passed
February 15th speaking 3rd year mental health students’ Caledonian university
February 20th speaking 1st year mental health nursing student’s Caledonian university
March 14th speaking at Lockerbie carers
March 22nd speaking at SDRCN Conference Stirling
April speaking at labour party conference fringe meeting Inverness
 More talks waiting for dates to be confirmed
 On – going projects all starting mid January
 Carer engagement film a new film about carer engagement
Dementia through art exhibition based on my life stories
Academic paper with leading university based on my life stories

You can add you story to help others at tommy@i-woz-there.com

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Positive meeting today –Dementia and caring through Art Project




Hi
I had a really positive and encouraging meeting today with Samantha Flowers Area AHP/Rehabilitation Manager - Mental Health Services with regards to my dementia and caring through Art exhibition based on my life stories we discussed many options and will be meeting together early in the new year to take the next steps and feel much closer to getting started on this project of positive awareness and involvement. A big thanks to Samantha for today and to Jill Carson who set today’s meeting up after we had disused this idea a few months back .Samantha works on a few positive projects in fact there is one taking place tomorrow that I hope to pop over too if time permits

  
WANDERING MINSTRELS BRING CHRISTMAS
TO GARTNAVEL HOSPITAL CAMPUS

Sleigh bells, carols and fireworks will bring in Christmas for patients and staff on the Gartanvel Hospital site on Wednesday, December 19.

Members of Garnavillo’s “Art in the Gart” group of arts and therapy organisations, made up of mental health service users and artists, are becoming wandering minstrels for the day, calling at various wards and offices bringing festive cheer by singing standards such as “Jingle Bells”, “O Come All Ye Faithfull” and “Winter Wonderland” accompanied by bells, guitars, accordion and drums.

Wearing Santa hats and dressed in swathes of colorful fabric, the minstrels will also be carrying LED lit lanterns and their tour will end at 4.15pm with a festive red and white coloured firework display based on a12ft by 6ft frame outside NHSGGC headquarters, JB Russell House, which will pick out the words “Art in the Gart”.

Colin McCormack, Head of Mental Health, Glasgow City Community Health Partnership (CHP), said:  “The idea is to bring a Christmas atmosphere to the Gartanvel campus for both staff and patients and ‘Art in the Gart’ is a perfect vehicle to spread festive cheer for everyone here and promote health and wellbeing.

Gartanvel Royal Hospital has a long history of using creative activities as part of therapeutic treatment programmes for service users.

“To achieve this we have worked for many years in partnership with third sector providers to ensure that we are utilizing experts in the arts and creative media to work with patients building their self esteem and confidence.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Dementia through art - Project Outline


Hi
A few days back  I had a meeting with the team at Gartnavel Royal Hospital to see how we take forward the dementia through art project and permanent exhibition

Project Outline

Art students

Develop a brief for a group of art students to create a space which brings comfort, hope and inspiration to all who visit the hospital or work there based on the letters and life stories collected during the campaign ( I believe if we work with the students on some of the life stories they will produce art that helps comfort and will inspire all who view).

Carer groups

Work with carers /families who attend carer groups form across Glasgow; north, south, east and west, encouraging them to come up with ideas, sentiments and inspiration to create a Carer’s space in the corridor.

Local art students will be sought to work with the groups if required to bring their thoughts and ideas to life.

Design students

I have identified a couple of students working on a dementia, residential care design course who are keen to get involved in the project.

I believe if we can bring all of the above together and agree a plan work can be done that will inspire all who view.

I also believe this will raise positive awareness and positive publicity for the hospital and NHS. 

Involving families and the next generation of artists in this project will I hope help and inspire others along the way and I believe involving carers and carer groups will inspire local communities and the people involved.

Tommy  


Collecting life stories rasing awareness

Meeting Scotlands Health Secretay Alex Neil January 17th to disucuss dementia and my awarness work


Hi


I will be Meeting with Scotlands Health Secretay Alex Neil January 17th to disuccss Dementia and my awarness campaign this is following up on the meetingas I had with our previous Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon and I look forward to an on - going relationship as before

the Scottish Goverment are supporting a new project based on my tommyontour life stories campaign via the Allliance Scotland - Dementia Carer Voices I will be a voluntary partner in this project and I hope this helps me reach a wider audience and gives familes facing and caring for a loved one a new and strong voice in the heart of Goverment

I ma grateful for this support and to Nicola Sturgeon for the time she has shown both my campaign and the life stories

I look forward to meeting Alex on January 17th at the Scottish Parliament

tommy

Off to Caledonian University to discuss talks for early next year


Hi
Well I am off to Caledonian University this morning to meet some of the lecturers to finalize planned talks for early next year .At the moment I have 2 confirmed  1st  year mental health in February and 3rd year mental health in march ,with a few more planned with nursing and social science dates to be confirmed. I also have a few other projects with the University in the pipeline and hope to discuss the formant today .this is a project I would like to take with other universities across the country for 2013 .i am grateful to all at the university for their interest in my campaign,talks and life stories and look forward to meeting ,speaking to and working with the students
Tommy  
  

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Collecting life stories raising awareness ,your words help


For the last year I have been collecting life stories thoughts and opinions, experiences good or bad as part of my Tommyontour campaign
This has led to much awareness locally, nationally and through many media outlets, along with my short film, talks motions at councils and reports on my letters
I do this as a son and on a voluntary basis I have a few new projects that you words can help with along with the hundreds I have received to date
our lives in our words ........
 Academic paper early in the new year with a leading University
Ongoing work with Government and local authorities
A new carer engagement film  
Dementia and caring through art permanent exhibition
Talks across the care sector, universties, colleges and carer groups
I don’t raise money I do all of this as a son, your words can help me, you can add your thoughts by e mail at tommy@i-woz-there.com
Tommy
Son and awareness campaigner

Dementia & caring, can break you’re heart .


5 years ago I was travelling round the world, without a care .I had no clue what dementia was I had no clue who a carer was .that was soon to change .After a wee fall out with my girlfriend and disillusioned a bit with life travelling all the time I came home to visit my mum and soon realized my suspicions that mum was not doing to well became all to real. The next five years till my wee mum passed away 0n September 22nd feel almost like torture to look back upon .I will never compare my personal journey caring and witnessing all that happened to mums journey with dementia, she was braver than me and faced more than me but I cant believe the struggle we faced in fact we made it by the skin of teeth ,that’s is we truly made it at all Looking back feels as painful as it was to do .the ifs the buts she should haves all torture me .and this all came from a lack of understanding within and to often ,far to often a lack of understanding towards us and my tears are mixed I salute the ones who added value and feel anger at the ones who held us down and I don’t by into that I was my mums carer and she needed all the care ,how I miss even in amongst all she faced her ability to care for me ,how I miss her friendship ,how I miss my wee mum and I say this as a person who 5 years ago had no clue about dementia or caring and across the board for people who need  or give care no matter the reason ,We as a society have to understand the scarifies made ,the challenges people face ,the love they give ,If we don’t understand then how can we help ,my life as a carer is over my journey to raise awareness will continue on and when you think of a carer try at very least to remember that they are more than a word ,more than a number of cost or savings to governments ,they are husbands ,wives ,sons daughters ,granddads ,grandmothers ,brothers ,sisters ,and they all have one thing in common Love ,we as a society can help keep their life stories more of a love story and less of tragedy we at the very least should never allow families to reach a crisis as each time we do we let them down and we let ourselves down I know this as reaching a crisis was the start of my campaign and things will be better when we don’t have to campaign ,and when more people understand there will be need to campaign but bigger than that ,much bigger than that there will be on left to do this alone ,and crisis will never be reached
   

Tommy      

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Had a tough day missing my wee mum

It’s been a tough day missing my wee mum  
I woke up about 4am this morning and my head was full of memories of my wee mum, it’s almost a torture of my heart and soul. I was out yesterday as I most weeks attending and speaking at an event about caring for my mum ,the life stories and my wee campaign ,and I am ok doing that and its when I feel my strongest as its is the most important part of my life ,but there is no escaping at home how much I miss my mum ,her smile ,her courage ,her all .5 years witnessing this amazing wee woman being challenged by this cruel illness is hard to escape from my mind ,a journey we faced alone to often and that theme continues this door has not been knocked more than twice since mum passed away this phone never rings a continuation of  how it was for the last years of my mums journey and life ,and I thought we where lonely before but that was a rehearsal for now ,as lonely as we where my mum was here and there is no denying she needed much care but she also cared for me .the truth is I have cried at some point each night since mum passed away and many nights when mum was here as I struggled to witness the pain in front of me .Today the tears don’t want to stop no matter how I try ,and that is really the basis of this campaign a better journey for all ,better memoires for all and more smiles comfort and joy for all .Things may change for me in time but the tears out weigh the smiles and the pain lasts longer than the joy and the memoires of a mums journey and struggle out weighs the  memoires of the greatness of her life at this moment ,Maybe that’s why I cry as that’s unfair in itself for a woman who brought so much love care and kindness to life and all she met and the struggle is always at the forefront of my mind
I just miss my wee mum
Tommy   

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