My mother doesn’t know me any more. I don’t mean she doesn’t recognise me. That already happened a while back. I mean she doesn’t know she has a daughter anymore. The concept of daughter has gone.
When she didn’t
recognise me anymore (and why would she? Who is this grey haired woman standing
in front of her? Not her dark haired little girl) I could at first still say ‘Its me’ to get a smile. And then when
that no longer worked, I could talk about Susie.
Cheerfully making conversation. Susie.
Your Daughter. Your only child.
Referring to myself in the 3rd person to see if talking about me
connected us. Me sitting right here holding your hand talking about me. The
conversation increasingly ridiculous and desperate. You know, Susie! Your lovely
daughter. Raising a smile for
a while. And then. Susie! Your daughter! The clever one? The kind one? The one with
that awful boyfriend, don’t worry she got rid of him, married now, very nice
man. The one with two boys, your grandsons. Isn’t she lovely? Yes, she’s very
nice. But she’s very busy, she’s sorry she can’t be here more. She feels
guilty, she feels sad, she misses you. I miss you too, sitting here right next
to you holding your hand.
My mother doesn’t know me
anymore. But she stills knows all the words to ‘Do You Think I am Sexy’ by Rod Stewart. She went to the ABBA musical Mamma Mia
with her carers, and people were videoing her dancing in the aisles. My mother dancing and laughing. She is
still there. The music connecting her to an earlier time before I existed. Before daughters were a thing. Dancing
with her friends in 70’s discos; beautiful, glamorous, young, free.