It has suddenly dawned on me that I have to let go. Mum went into a nursing home just over 2 weeks ago. I was there and she knew me then. I live a long way away so can’t visit regularly. “Ring her as much as you want,” said the manager. It is now 2 weeks since I last saw her. She had been wandering around at night so when I visited with my son and his family she was asleep. A small figure slumped on the sofa, head tilted backwards. I had never seen her look so old and wondered if she had slipped away. Even on her 80th birthday she looked so young. People thought she was very many years younger, always immaculately turned out; hair, clothes, make-up, very fit and active, no illnesses, not even a cold. Seven years on time has cruelly caught up with her. She looked every bit of her 87 years. How she would hate to see herself now. I reassured myself that she did look tidier and cleaner since the care home had been looking after her; a pretty lace blouse and black trousers. This is not very nice for young children to see I thought. “Great Nanny is asleep,” said little Amy. The innocence of youth; why did I worry about it upsetting her? I gently touched my mother’s arm. She stirred. “That’s a relief,” I thought. She opened her eyes briefly but seemed not to be aware of anything or anyone. The family went outside. No point staying if she is sleeping. I took some clothes up to her room. When I returned she was sipping a mug of hot chocolate. “I have to go now Mum. I have a long way to drive.” Hardly a response. What is going through her head? Is she happy or sad? How much is she aware of? I kissed her and left. I have tried speaking to her since my return home, but have not succeeded. Most times when I phoned she has been asleep. The last time I could hear the conversation and confusion in the background. “She wants to speak to one of the residents?” came the surprised voice. I thought I was being awkward and causing problems asking to speak to her. After a while I heard the nurse say, “Someone to speak to you.” I didn’t know why they couldn’t tell her it’s her daughter and say my name. “She doesn’t want to talk,” said the carer. “Tell her my name and say it’s her daughter,” I replied. She did as I asked. “She won’t take the phone. She’s in a bad mood today. Try again in 10 minutes.” I never phoned back. What’s the point? She didn’t know her husband, my step-father, when he visited the day before so why should she know me? The niggling feeling that she will know me as she has known me all my life. I feel like I am leaving her neglected in a home..... but she is not neglected as they are looking after her. This awful disease. A year ago she was still going for walks with us, laughing and enjoying life. Alright, she had Alzheimer's but then she just seemed eccentric and forgetful. What a decline. The person that I knew and loved has gone. It is time to let go.