It’s the Queen’s 90th birthday. You might have missed that fact, but perhaps only if you’ve been on a week-long holiday to Mars. I mention it because Mum’s care home was in full-on regal celebration mode. There were flags, discreetly-hung, outside the front door and there was some excitement at the impending birthday walkabout which was about to appear on television screens as I left.
There was a singalong of patriotic songs. I was chided for not joining in the national anthem or Rule Britannia, but then neither did Mum. For the record, she did enjoy Run Rabbit Run, the royal connection to which I’m still trying to fathom.
If circumstances were different, Mum would have enjoyed today’s celebrations. For the silver jubilee in 1977, she took us to line a street as the Queen visited Walsall. I still have the photo of a lemon-coloured hat which might or might not have been attached to a royal head. As it was, today’s celebration passed her by. Still, she was in good form, laughing with or at me, I’m not sure which.
I was talking to someone yesterday about my visits to Mum. We discussed how much Mum takes from them. I’d love Mum to say “it’s lovely to see you” but it isn’t going to happen. But, putting words to one side, I think it’s clear. As we laughed today, and I pulled another mildly humorous face, Mum reached out. We held hands and her eyes sparkled:
“Oh you are lovely.”
Only words, words which are beyond Mum most of the time. When the words do come, though, they’re so precious.