My Brother-in-Law and my Nieces were in the country last weekend (one of my Nieces is starting school in the UK). I picked up Mum and took her to see them. Here's a photo of Mum with my Neices (that's me hunched down behind the chair). We spent a lovely afternoon together eating, looking at photos and catching up.
On the day it seemed like business as usual, with me shepherding Mum through hurdles (physical and mental) as patiently as possible. In some ways I could see a deterioration in her: I had difficulties helping her up the steep stairs in the house whenever she wanted to use the toilet, and she told a story about giving away a toy dog 3 times while we were there and a further time on our drive back. But I just smiled and let it pass - Mum hasn't got so many stories these days so I should let her enjoy those she can still remember.
However, looking at this picture I am struck by how much happier and healthier Mum looks now. It sends me back to the following pictures I still have on my phone, taken last December when I decided that I needed to intervene in Mum's life.