The first conversation we had about a frightening and unexplained occurrence happened about 7 years ago. Mum had driven to Leura for a swim, a trip of about 20 kms, and on the way back stopped at the post office and bought some stamps. Later, she realised, she couldn’t remember any of it.
I recall she had been unwell; feeling exhausted and had been sleeping a lot after the ‘event’.
Then there were other things that happened. Black outs – losing time – spending a few days at a time on the bed – uninterested in eating – unable to concentrate. Then, almost in the next breath, she was right again; “as good as gold” my dad would say.
Dad didn’t bring mum’s problems into our discussions very much at all. It was his habit to call into see me once a week after shopping. In the good old days, mum would always come with him, but I soon noticed there were some days in the month when it was just dad. Looking back now I guess mum wasn’t well, but he never made a fuss about it and regularly said “she had a better offer!”
Dad always made sure he asked “How’s all the family?” as he told me that mum would want a full report on his return. I’m not sure that mum got as much information from Dad as she really wanted so inevitably there would be a phone call a day or two later to really find out about how we all were.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when mum’s mind started to slip…
And it doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is that she can still ask ”How’s all the family?” and keep me talking for ages… then call me up again in just a little while and ask me the same question again.
My biggest challenge is deciding whether or not I answer the question in exactly the same way and whether that is showing enough respect!
I wonder whether you frequently answer that question too?