Even though no-one was looking my way other than him, I felt I was betraying Mum.
Since then, this blog has had some regular visitors and I've been grateful to get a few kind comments and expressions of concern. It has made such a difference to know that someone else was reading all this and found what I wrote meaningful or moving. This was an unanticipated benefit from the blog.
A part of me feels guilty, of course, that I'm making myself feel better by exposing (betraying) Mum.
Recently, I've posted a couple of pictures of Mum, for which I felt guilt all over again. My picture and name are up here now as a small expiation.
I'm worried that my morality has slipped incrementally, so that what made me uneasy and ashamed in the first weeks is now simply not enough. I am a little vague as to whether each indignity I publish is really an effort to be truthful to what's going on, or proof to myself that I am an ungrateful Son.
Am I looking for an edge, for a damning betrayal? How far will I go?
Today, in the real world, I betrayed Mum in a way I feel horrible about. I cancelled the installation of her new shower.
When Mum and I had our conversation last week about the complaints that had been made about her, she took the news with no apparent distress, but suddenly cut in with: "What about my shower?" I lied and said that I hadn't thought about that but, now that she mentioned it, there seemed to be little point in spending £2,000 on something she might get only a few weeks' use out of. This was the news that knocked the wind out of her - I heard the breath come out of her and her voice plummeted to rock-bottom. I rescued her by quickly saying that we would ensure that her next residence would have an en-suite shower. Since then, though, I've felt too cowardly and wretched to do anything about cancelling the installation. It was a decision that would acknowledge that Mum really will be moving out.
Today, after the Warden said once again that he thought Mum should move out in a matter of weeks rather than months, I finally phoned the Plumber and left a message that I needed to stop the job.
It's by no means my first betrayal. I am sickened by the thought that it won't be my last.