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  • Writer's pictureKeith Dersley

Chats in the Time of Covid, #11

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Can’t even share my YouTube videos with Mum, because we can’t get into the Care Home. The only way would be to get beside her and show her the videos on an iPad or something. Of course, she has nothing to do with computers, doesn’t like them.

But she would dig the latest video, which deals with the old digs in Ipswich. Where she used to come round after Joan and I got together. After Dad died, we started having Mum round Friday evening, then we’d go to hers the following week.

She’d identify with the Bolton Lane days, all right. We carried on, living like hippies where I had had my bachelor bedsit. (Joan still talks about the dust and fluff under the bed which I never noticed.)

Carol has been in Mum's room and helped herself to the Voltarol again. It’s all had to be locked away since then. Carol ate some. Whether on toast or not, I don’t know.

Seems as if Mum’s got another of these ‘water infections’ that make her spin scenarios about strange blokes in the corner, and dolls and dogs, and presenters on TV who are spying on her. A lot of it is said to be down to dehydration. Her hands are too weak, she can’t even lift the jug to pour a cup of orange squash. (Even if she wanted one, which she usually doesn’t, because she likes to cut down the number of times she needs the toilet. Even though she wears pads.)

We sit in front of the webcam for Zoom and strive to talk to Mum. The carer has to help her, repeating our gist, even with the hearing aid. But just to see the old girl in living colour is something.

Of course, even without the Covid, it's always hard to get ideas over to your Mum, your lovely Mum. There are things I could never have made her understand even before the pandemic and all the difficulties of communicating. Every word I wrote was to her gibberish. In some deep way your mother understands you like no one else, but on the other hand there are a million things she will never understand. These she is happy to laugh off, and maybe that's the best.

Today we enjoy advantages a Sun King might have plumed himself on, but I for one still experience this obstinate desire for some yet unimagined glory that will not be satiated. It keeps us from what few people ever achieve: bliss consciousness and fulfilment.

But with Mum, you just sit there and grin (me, her first born) and she grins too, and it's everything.

We set up a Zoom room on Wednesday again, but couldn’t get anybody in it. The Care Home said they would call back at 11:00 a.m. and never did. When Joan phoned about six times there was the engaged tone. But they are busy. Busy as heck, we know that.

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