It Wasn’t Supposed To Be Like This

Mum was quite distressed when I called in this evening, but she brightened up quickly. The mother-son bond still survives the ravages of dementia. We sat, we sang, we laughed. These days, Mum will sometimes talk to herself. What she says might make sense initially, but often descends – to my ears – into nonsense. I always respond, even if I don’t recognise the words spoken. And so it was this evening. I can’t recall what Mum said but I agreed with it.

Mum laughed and looked at me as if I’d just said something absurd.

“We’re as bad as each other,” she said. Does she know what she says makes no sense? Is she even aware she’s said anything? As always, there are more questions than answers with dementia.

Music remains our common language. This evening, Mum was word-perfect in the chorus of Che Sera Sera and joined in, too, with another old favourite Pickin’ A Chicken. I thought she’s enjoyed my actions in The Windmill in Old Amsterdam until I saw this photo:

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At least I’m enjoying myself.

In other news, Mum’s cousin Pam remains in hospital where she’s been for three weeks. When I visited a few days ago, we talked about how her life had changed in the three years since a bout of pneumonia had spelt the beginning of the end of her precious sense of independence.

“It wasn’t supposed to be like this, ” Pam said.

Her words came back to me this evening. My relationship with Mum wasn’t supposed to be like this. Knowing each other so well one minute and hardly at all the next. But it is like this. And it is still special. Whatever will be, will be.

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