Sometimes, as I drive over to see Mum, an idea comes into my head: a poignant fantasy that stops my heart for a moment and I have to shake my head and try and ignore it.
In this fantasy there is nothing actually wrong with Mum and she's actually just pretending.
As the movie violins kick in, I dream of a Mother who saw that her Son was holding back on his dreams because he was worried about leaving her behind when he went off on his travels. She cleverly faked her slide into Dementia in order to fool him into placing her in Care.
I know it's solipsistic and stupid, worthy of a daytime soap-opera plot, but the emotion behind it is strong for me, and I invariably get quite teary-eyed and short of breath thinking about it.
And I know why. It's the idea that Mum could be selflessly maternal. I realise that I've spent my life testing her maternal instincts and she's never passed that test. It seems there's still a child within me who still needs his Mummy.
I spend a few minutes with Mum and the fantasy evaporates. She really isn't pretending. I feel sadness for her, of course, but some also for myself.