This time last week, I was sharing a toasted cheese sandwich with my Mum having taken her up and down the river via my laptop and camera chip.
It was her birthday on Friday, and I decided to give her a call to sing Happy Birthday down the phone as I used to years ago.
It was difficult to keep a smile in my voice and tone jovial and happy, as Friday was obviously not as good a day as some.
After my rendition of the birthday serenade, it was evidently clear she didn’t know who I was.
This was one of the reasons I stopped calling as it was too upsetting for both of us and I will not be accused of causing her unnecessary anxiety.
I asked her what her plans were for the day, and she said she was having her hair done.
I knew this already as it was a Friday and a regular thing for her. In fact shortly after we’d sold the house and were staying with our friend, I went down to visit her on my own and took her to the hairdressers. I had mine cut whilst I was waiting, then took her out for lunch at the local carvery. That was a good day.
I asked if she was going to be taken out for her birthday. She was doubtful as it was raining but she was going to have her hair done.
I asked if she’d had any other phone calls (brothers) or visitors (grandchildren of various generations) and she said No, but then she would probably be out if they called as she was having her hair done.
I kept the conversation chatty and light before saying goodbye, hating the dementia that is increasingly fogging my Mum’s mind.
She surprised me then by perking up and suddenly saying
‘Is that you Di? You sound very far away. Are you out on the river in the boat?’
Bless you Mum.