I so love this photo. We all look so happy, you're smiling and looking into the camera for the selfie, as is Dad. You knew who you were and who I was.
And yet I can't look at this photo without crying, for grieving for what we've lost.
This was taken in February 2017. I dropped in for one night, after coming down from London after the LT conference.
I remember that I took you both for a meal at a local pub, and Mum, you were so quiet. No conversation or chatter from you, you couldn't really answer any questions about friends or what was going on.
I suppose I had an inkling then, that things were changing. But at the time I was just frustrated and a bit cross with you :-(
And yet, you still brought me breakfast in bed on the Sunday! I wish I had appreciated it more. This is the last normal weekend I can remember, or the last time I can remember when you were you.
Just a year after this, you got a formal "diagnosis" about Alzheimer's from the memory clinic. You stopped driving after that, which was the beginning of the end of both of you being truly independent.
You and Dad held each other up, complemented each other's weaknesses with your strengths. Went on constant day trips on many buses!
And when I next saw you at home in Nov 2018, you had really started to slip away, although on the surface, everything still looked okay. I stayed a weekend in Feb 2019, and things had deteriorated further.
Mum, you sort of knew who I was, but kept calling me Kate.
I think the last time I saw you at home was Dec 2019 after Christmas. Mum, I have a lovely photo of you showing my boys "the Anchorage".
Mum, I wish you could "hear" and "read" these posts and know how much I love you and how much I know you did for me.
I spend so much time at the moment, looking back, remembering - trying to fix in my memory the last time I saw you, the last time you did something. It's like a grotesque childhood in reverse.
I love you Mum,