Loving your mum, just for who she is, means that you have to modify who you think she is, as she changes.
My mother never forgets my birthday.
In fact, I suspect she has a book in which she “remembers” all the birthdays of her offspring and god children, and nieces and nephews, and their offspring’s children – it probably totals an average of 2 birthdays a week.
My birthday is tomorrow, Red Nose day.
On Tuesday I received a card.
I didn’t open it since I knew it was from her, knew it was an early card.
Today I received what is definitely another, similar card.
My mum has a progressive, organic brain disease called multi-infarct dementia, one of a set of diseases that are the curse of our successful, life extending age.
She is 87, and when her loving husband of 64 years died in 2009, her mind was sharp. Now, she is fine as long as she is at home in her Dorset Village, with neighbours, friends and my sister calling in regularly to check she’s OK and keep her company, but she sometimes thinks I am her brother…
“Who is taking me home?” is a question she may repeat if out with any of us…
This Red Nose day I shall be doing 57 silly things to raise money for every year I have been alive. The money I raise will actually go towards dementia support and research.
The woman who raised me and who I believe I know and love, is changing, and not in a good way.
But the love she has built, or more like cemented into her soul, over eight decades of struggle, survival and growth, means that she is still the loving woman my father first fell for, back in 1942.
Happy eternally repeating birthday from me, back to you, Sylvia.