There’s not a single day that goes past when I don’t think about my mother. 她 was diagnosed with 老年痴呆症’s at the age of 49, whilst I was taking my GCSE exams, and passed away just after her 60th birthday.
During my teenage years and my 20s I would dread Christmas. For me, it was a sign of time passing away and every year I’d ask myself whether Mummy would remember me by the following Christmas. Would she recognise my face? Would she be able to talk to me? Would she know I was even there? And I’m very sad and sorry to say that with every Christmas that passed, Mummy became less and less like the woman who took care of me. 她 didn’t know who I was. 她 didn’t write me cards or buy me presents. 她 didn’t say ‘Happy Christmas’. 她 eventually didn’t say or do anything. 她 was just there. A shell of herself. Trapped in her mind. Trapped by a brain that could no longer function. And then she died.
当我看到 “圣诞老人忘了” 第一次带回了我对圣诞节不是真的圣诞节的所有记忆。我记得，就像我每年一样，大约是我妈咪最后一次给我买圣诞礼物。
在圣诞节之前，她被正式诊断出患有老年痴呆症。 （直到那时，似乎还没有人认真对待它。“她只是健忘”，“沮丧”，“她需要在房子周围提供更多帮助”）。一个住在我们对面的好老太太叫Mim，她经常和妈咪在一起，并知道她病了。一天早晨，在学校放假期间，我仍在床上-因为那是青少年的行为-妈咪进来问我我们把剪刀放在哪里。我告诉她了。然后她进来问我们把录音带放在哪里。我告诉她了。然后她进来问我们把包装纸放在哪里–激怒了，我问她是否只想让我包装一些礼物。 “不，”她说，“我有礼物要送给你”。事实证明，米姆（Mim）带妈妈去公交车去圣诞节购物。
The next day, before he went to work, Pappa asked me if I knew where his aftershave was, as he couldn’t find it anywhere. Mummy had a habit of ‘tidying up’ and putting our belongings in random places and then forgetting where she’d put them. I had an inkling she’d perhaps wrapped his aftershave and put it under the tree. Once Pappa had left, I asked her if she knew where his aftershave was. 她 didn’t. I asked if maybe she’d wrapped it up. 她 said she couldn’t remember. So together we found the gift she’d placed under the tree, carefully unwrapped it, and realised that whilst she’d bought a new bottle of aftershave for him (Mim had suggested she bring his old bottle on the shopping trip so she’d know which one to get), she’d wrapped the old with the new. We put the old bottle back on Pappa’s shelf and rewrapped his gift.
Come Christmas Day, which must have been about a week later, Mummy didn’t remember she’d bought presents for us. I did. One for Pappa. One for me. I opened my present. I knew it would be the last gift Mummy would independently buy for me. It was a pair of pink slippers. I never wore them – I wanted to keep them forever. 她 remembered I loved pink. And she’d remembered my feet were the same size as hers.