After a visit to my mam in her nursing home, I left bereft of any feeling. Numb. I have always been close to her but since my dad died 5 years ago we became much closer. Since her diagnosis of mixed dementia, I have watched with great sadness, and heartbreak,as the disease took hold. Now,I feel that her personality is slipping away. Please don't get me wrong, I cherish any good times we have but after this last visit.... I felt as though my connection with her was not as strong. I went with my brother, she greeted him, and when I said hi she didn't really acknowledge me. She seems to know who I am, though I felt that I was just a visitor to her, and could have been anyone. My brother has been her main carer as he lives near her and I don't, and she still connects with him well. Which I am happy about, I don't want this to sound as if I am bitter At one point she hugged a woman who had come to see her from mental health team. My mam gave her a huge hug, and a kisss on the cheek telling the woman (who she had never met) how lovely she was, but I had to initiate a hug from her(god I do sound bitter!oops) As my mam talked about cars and buses that weren't there, people who didn't exist, counted the patterns on her skirt, changed topics constantly,I felt distant,asking myself how to respond. There was no meaning to me, it was just words. And then there was the guilt... how could I feel like that about my mother? I listened, made the right sounds, agreed, nodded, laughed with her, tried to make conversation. I tred to go into her world, see the things she saw, and yet I walked away feeling sad, and lonely,as if I had done her no good. Right at the end of the visit, I saw a glimpse, after we had said our goodbyes, I turned round to wave to her. For a brief moment, she looked at me, and I knew we had connected, with our eyes, and the lovely smile she gave me.It was the smile she always gave me when I used to come to visit her over the years. So.... feelings.... I love her, I miss her, and I will keep on trying to connect in whatever way this dreadful disease allows me to. I am learning that it doesn't matter what words are spoken any more, as long as they are spoken in love. And guilt, you can go away!You have no place here, my mam still has my heart, and I know, as I type this, that I will always love her, and I know she loves me.