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Old and Senile

Old and senile, the old bit comes to all those lucky enough to live a long life, the senile bit, well fortunately it skips some of us. Not so my mother, I can think of no two words that better describe her than old and senile, it’s sad really. Dad is just one day older than Mum and he is as sharp as a tack, and Brian’s mother is the same.

We went to see Mum last weekend and for the first time she found it difficult to recognise Brian, and until she heard my voice she was not sure about me either, or was she? Mum has never been averse to playing the odd mind game, especially if it puts you on a guilt trip, the only problem is that the older she gets the harder it is to tell. I am starting to think she is now beyond those games.

The visit started out pleasant enough, she was quite chatty and her normally very cloudy memory was spot on. She was talking about things and people long gone, and even remembered one of my sons that she has not “remembered” for years. Hmmm, what was that I said about mind games.

Anyway the longer the visit went on the more she dribbled the most outrageous of her “memories”. She claims to have been so poor she had to eat scraps off the street, she claims to have lived in hiding for many years, frightened to be found, she claims she has never known true love until recently as she has befriended a kindly old gentleman in the nursing home, she claims she has been physically beaten her entire life, so badly that the bruises have not healed to this day.

All this of course is absolute twaddle, my grandparents were ordinary working class people but their children always had food in their stomachs and a roof over their head. I know Mum has had times when she suffered from depression, she has always been a very needy person, but most of her life has been about her, prehaps this is her way of continuing that trend.

I do remember one very unpleasant relationship she had after she divorced my father which resulted in a daughter being put up for adoption, and even I remember this fellow was not very nice, but that was over forty years ago, Mum has had quite a good life since then.

I suppose if this fantasy world is what gets her through the endless borings days in the nursing home, confined either to bed or a chair, then it is up to her, she is hurting no-one but herself. Sad really.


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