I was listening to a play on the radio the other day, an exploration of emerging feminism in the 70s, at one point a boy tells his Mother that he misses her, "But I'm here" "Yes but I sill miss you". I was missing the Mother he remembered from before a marital split and the Mother's increasing understanding of her place independent in the world, yet it still resonated me.
My Mother is still with us, I see her around once a month yet I miss her. No longer can I phone her up for a chat; it used to be that a phone call with Mother could easily run into a second hour, then they started to get shorter and eventually became not much more than an acknowledgement that I had called. Phone calls are now pointless as if Mum hears the phone ringing she can't hear the person at the other end and just guesses.
When I see Mum she is no longer the capable, assertive, confident person she was, age and alzheimer's have not just taken her memory, but much of what made her the woman she was. It's not just that she can no longer do the things that she used to, but with her capabilities so limited in many ways her character has changed as well.
It is strange but I do miss my Mum, there are so many things that I would like to discuss with her, but she can no longer manage it, there are things I would like to show her but I fear she will either not see them or not understand. In many ways this dreadful disease has robbed us of our Mother while she is still alive, and we are forced to mourn her while she is still here.