I’ve been working on a graphic novel telling my mum’s story. At the moment I am letting memories flow and eventually I will put them together. I realised this story is not just about my mum’s illness and her choice to end her life by means of Euthanasia. It is also about my relationship with her. Her illness is closely linked with my history with depression. It is a story of pure love and emotional chaos.
But it is not all serious! My mum was a wonderful, warm-hearted and passionate woman…with her own special way of dealing with toddler problems; I used to break my grandmother’s cigarettes, which were always in a glass jar on her table. To be fair, it must feel incredibly satisfying to break a cigarette, I can just imagine it now…and I always like to think that in my innocence I was trying to tell my Oma that this was an unhealthy habit and she should just stop it 😉
One day my mum told me to put one of the cigarettes in my mouth and she lit it, instructing me to inhale deeply. “En nu heel diep inademen.”
She’d told me that for a moment she feared she’d actually killed me but luckily I managed to breathe again…eventually!
I’ve never touched a cigarette since. I never even smoked, though there were other factors that played a part in my teenage years why I didn’t choose to smoke. Still, being nearly choked to death by cigarette smoke undoubtedly played a big part!
The joys of 1970’s parenting! 😉