I went to see my Mum yesterday. She turned 91 last week and is in good health for her age, though she eats far too little. The only real thing wrong with her is her memory, which has increasingly deteriorated over the last few years and is now so bad she can’t remember how to make a cup of tea.
Until fairly recently, she did a passable imitation of being fine. I remember the time that I visited and it became apparent that she had not a clue who I was. I’d never have guessed, but in Polish, as in French, one doesn’t say “you” in the same way when speaking formally. When your mother effectively addresses you formally, it’s a fairly safe bet that she doesn’t recognise you as family, let alone her daughter. It was a huge shock and very upsetting (for both of us). I didn’t have the children with me then (fortunately) – although she seems to still recognise them most of the time and even remembers their names.