The Hydrangea, often associated with elderly people, is my favourite flower, and so I was delighted to discover a big Hydrangea bush in the garden of our holiday cottage last September. I made Betty stand in front of it for a good fifteen minutes whilst I took hundreds of photos. I'm not sure what I was trying to capture; maybe moments from my childhood, a time when there were no demands, no unbearable feelings of angst, no responsibility, no nothing, apart from being a happy, carefree little girl being well looked after by her doting mother.
We used to have a Hydrangea bush in our garden when I was little. I used to love looking at it with its massive pink and blue flower heads all bunched together - so striking and beautiful. I would pick the petals and create fairyland.
Now, whenever I see a Hydrangea I am catapulted right back to when I was a child and I see my mum, probably the age I am now, standing in front of the flower hugging a mug of coffee, and smiling and looking pretty, with the sun shining in her hair. This memory makes me feel warm, but also desperately sad. Warm, because they were happy times, and sad because those times have well and truly gone. I have lost my mum, as she was then. She no longer looks after me. It is now me who looks after her. To watch her suffering is horrendous, and I feel utterly helpless, and angry. I want her to be how she was; just the simple things like walking, cooking, driving, being happy.
I don't talk about what is happening with my mum very much at all (she has progressive MS) because I can't, it is too painful. I can barely bring myself to even say the word. She says that the one thing that keeps her going and brings her joy, is her beautiful adoring granddaughters. I just wish she could share in the joy wholeheartedly.
Since discovering the Hydrangea in the holiday cottage garden, we then saw the flower absolutely everywhere, whilst driving around Pembrokeshire. And in all sorts of vibrant shades of pinks, purples, and maroons, colours I had never seen before. I have yet to see the exact same pale blue and pink version of my mum's garden all those years ago - so perfect and beautiful and unique.