I read an article in The Guardian yesterday, highlighting the use of robot toys in dementia care. That was going to be the subject of today’s post but my visit to Mum brought me so much joy that I’ll return to the subject of robots another time.
Today was a warm, sunny day in Worcestershire and Mum and I sat outside for a change. As so often, the conversation was rather one-sided but as we enjoyed an ice cream, all seemed well with the world.
Mum might not look too happy about the strawberry cornet but I can assure you she was. Having taken one photo, I decided to venture into selfie-territory, not somewhere I usually wander, but Mum seemed to be having such a lovely time, eating her ice cream and singing at the same time, that I wanted to capture the moment.
We picked a chicken, got to know each other and took a trip to Oklahoma and having exhausted our usual repertoire, I searched my ‘phone for an encore or two. (Had there been an audience, I’m sure they’d have been calling “more” at this point.) I came across an old Beatles song, recently reinterpreted by a favourite performer of mine Thea Gilmore. She performed it in concert in Leamington and its beauty floored me. I’d always dismissed All You Need is Love as a later Beatles singalong, a step up from Yellow Submarine but not part of the essential canon. Listening to Thea Gilmore’s gently-affecting version, the simplicity of the message struck a chord. (I admit it, I’m a sentimental old booby*.) Holding Mum’s hand, I played the song today and she nodded her head slowly, soon picking up on the word “love” and repeating it.
As the song finished, I said what I always say:
“I love you Mum.”
She smiled, not the vacant smile I see often these days, but the old, warm, sparkling smile, the smile which always made things right.
“You’re still my Mum.”
“I know,” she smiled, holding my gaze.
You see, love is all you need.
*Blackadder Goes Forth c.BBC.