I am sitting next to my mum holding her hand, just as I have been doing for the last thirty days. They have just turned off the life support; I watched her dying breath as it escaped her tiny body. She had gone to hospital with lower back pain, a complaint that should never have caused the loss of life. My head is in my hands, it feels like my body is being torn apart by the hounds of hell. How in the world could this happen. On arrival she had not been seen by the consultant in charge of that particular ward, the reasoning for this? He was on holiday. On his return after some seven days she was rushed to theatre. But this would prove to be far too late. I had walked with her as far as possible, coming to an abrupt halt at the theatre doors. The last words she spoke were to tell me that she loved me, she would never speak again. She had totally and utterly forgiven me for my part in the madness that had ensued. That day part of me went with her never to be reclaimed. Some months later I would attend a formal hearing, where the duty of care was discussed. Tears are streaming down my face; I can’t focus on anything through the haze. The outcome was never really a surprise for me; once again she would touch the world with fairy dust. During her life she had given freely all that was asked of her, now even in death she had been able to reach out to others. During that meeting steps were taken to alter the macabre situation we had found ourselves in. Never again would anyone go through the torment felt because it increased a consultant’s work load. There is still an invisible thread that runs between us, one that however stretched will always hold fast even in death. They say the good die young, he or she was too good for this world .Both proverbs sit well with me. We may have no comprehension of the path that has been ours to walk. We may have no understanding of the battles we were made to face. But if we share this with others through our pain, they have a meaning a reason for being. We can then take a horrendous situation and spread a little fairy dust of our own.

Author's Bio: 

Teresa Joyce was born in 1958 the middle child of three. After losing her father at a very young age; it was to set the pattern for the rest of her life. Losing was something that she would have to get used to. Today she still has some memory of her father, but in truth it’s all a little hazy. Her mother through no fault of her own after that loss had no other alternative, then to return to her parent’s home with her children in tow. This family unit were to spend only a few years there, until the wind of change came around once more. Teresa still holds many happy memories from her time there as a child. Happy memories are something that Teresa holds in very short supply, and she has treasured them always. Her mother was set to meet the man that was to become her stepfather, and they moved on once more to a new city with the promise of a new life. Hopefully it would be a happy one for all concerned, but it became a place for Teresa that felt far more like a prison. One in which she would spend many days months and years hating. Teresa swore to herself that she would leave all this behind her at the first possible occasion. She can still clearly remember the day that she left that family home and joined the Royal Air Force. It was just two months off her sixteenth birthday. Her stepfather had informed her that to remain living in his house, she had to live by his rules. This was a big decision for her to take being so young, but she could no longer live by any rules that he imposed. Never really understanding at that time, what she was really running from. Memories of those years living by his rules were buried so deep, that previous years and events were only a burr to her. Teresa’s Time spent while in the Royal Air Force was very rewarding, and she involved herself in all and everything possible. After meeting her ex -husband whilst she was on leave, she then left this all behind her and married. It was greatly missed and in retrospect, it would be something that she would live to regret many years later. Life as a married woman changed many things for her; the biggest of all would be the arrival of her son. Teresa loved him even before he was born, and he is still able to pull on her heart strings daily.
Sadly after many years, she found herself unable to stay within that marriage. The onset of a set of circumstances beyond her control would stamp its seal, rendering the marriage unworkable. Engineered by the involvement of the one man Teresa had learnt to hate - her stepfather. The marriage was dissolved and there was no going back on her part, that door was firmly closed behind her. Some years later she would find herself in a long term lesbian relationship, firmly believing that anything touched by a man was tainted; bringing with it only pain and heartache. Teresa’s thoughts at that time were that the worst was surly now behind her, but her life was set to make another turn from her envisaged path. It was to arrive in the form of an accident, which once again would alter her life forever. After many months and many doctors reports she was ill health retired, unable to return to work in either one of her two loved occupations. Teresa was affected by this far more then she could have ever expected, she was left alone with nothing but time, and still within the mix of a completely insane situation; it was at this point that Teresa would enter into the mental health care system fully, to have any hope of dealing with everything going on around her. That care umbrella is still part of her everyday life. The loss of her mother through less than adequate health care, brought her pain like she had never thought possible. Teresa saw herself delving deeper and deeper into her own unconscious thoughts, revealing to her at that time memories which seemed so alien. Ultimately her mental health would prove to be a factor, in the disintegration of her then lesbian relationship.
It’s something that Teresa is still trying to come to terms with even now. She now lives alone with only a small dog for company, which in truth she is happy with. Firmly believing that she can’t hurt those she loves, if they are not there for her to do so; to her mind segregation is the answer. Teresa is still unable to work and in constant pain daily. Maybe today you could say that she has once more taken back control of her life, but only outwardly. The truth is she still carries the past along with her, like an uninvited guest at a party. The one that never seems to know when the party is over and it’s time to leave. Teresa is now trying to live her life as fully as possible, through her son and grandson; they have become her light at the end of the tunnel.