Mum taught me many things in my early years, many of which are the basis of the values I hold dear. The importance of hard work, family, friendship, kindness – in short, life skills. Communication skills were also important to Mum, not that she would have referred to them as that. The ability to write and speak properly were high on Mum’s list of priorities. Throughout my formative years, I never heard Mum swear or use anything which could remotely be described as bad language. Dad would very occasionally let loose with a “bastard”, usually when a politician had upset him, and from time to time, a “bloody” would escape his lips. But Mum, never.
“Come on yer bugger.”
Mum had some difficulty opening a birthday card.
“Come on yer bugger,” a little more testily.
So many people living with dementia experience changes in behaviour, sometimes quite distressing changes. The essential Mum remains largely unchanged – kind, smiling, even-tempered. If the occasional “bugger” is the only evidence of change, I’ll take that.
As lunch was served Mum decided she wanted to move to another room. She looked at me and stood up. What would she say?
“Let’s go dear.”
She’s still my Mum.