She looked right at me and she called through the list of names, “Beki, Missy, Linda, Sue….” until she dissolved in laughter, saying “What is your name?”
She didn’t forget. Granny knew my name, and I knew she did. She’d never forget her favorite grandchild and I was, absolutely, no question, her favorite. Weren’t you? Isn’t every grandchild the favorite?
When we’re young, we chalk up forgetting to having so much on our minds. Who can possibly remember all the daily stuff? Keys, lunches, practices, lessons, his schedule, her schedule and somewhere in there you’re hoping you can schedule something for you. Like nothing!
Life moves on and forgetfulness seems more serious. Articles and news reports telling us about games to keep our minds active and stave off dementia. Then the drugs to help with it and the quizzes for the signs of it and what use to be a sign of old age is now a disease and scares the laughter right out of us.
When mama didn’t call for my birthday, I knew there was a problem. She always called. Always.
Living across the country from each other the things we knew, counted on and looked forward to was monthly phone calls, birthday cards she diligently sent to her grandkids even when they weren’t kids. Without so much of a warning, they stopped.
Had we lived next door, like my sister did, perhaps we’d seen some warning. But what I’d seen was slight, just getting older stuff. No big deal.
It’s an awful thing for your own mama not to know you. For her to look at you with the same eyes she’s sees a stranger. She once commented to someone about me, “I don’t know who she is but she sure has a pretty smile.”
That’s been 8 or 9 years ago and it still breaks my heart. For her. For both of us.
The living body, a dying mind.
My grief has moved faster than the disease. At times, I wonder if when her body finally gives up, will I have any more tears to shed?
We’re all going trough so much it seems. Coping wth colicky newborns, rebellious teenagers, directionless college students and just trying to get them all out of your house.
We are tempted to forget the joys of youth and the beauty of life around us.
In the midst of grieving mama’s dementia, I stumbled on this verse. It continues to give me peace.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Isaiah 49:15 NIV
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