Saturday, November 12, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Unexpected

Joining Lisa-Jo late this week - been a heckuva a time trying to be available for a number of different needs in our family circle. But I found five minutes today, so I'll be 'better late than never' I guess. The Gypsy Mama invites us to join her each and every Friday to just write and not worry about whether or not it's just right. So join us, why don't you?

 Mom, at her 90th birthday party last June. That was a great day and good time for all of us.


I sit in this narrow room, waiting. My mother is in the room next to me, sitting with a neuro-psychologist. They are playing games. Of a sort. At 90, mom’s memory is fading, betraying her more and more often. She is also grieving lots of different losses - my dad, my brother, her own vision.

But this? This is completely unexpected. Our beautiful, gregarious, socially skilled mother is fearful, insecure, unable to remember simple processes she once knew how to do without looking. Of course, she can no longer ‘look.’ That is a big part of the problem.

My remaining brother and I shake our heads in sorrow and puzzlement: how can this be happening to her? She, the vibrant, verbal one in our original circle of five. Mom, the one with the wicked sense of humor, the grace of a dancer, though she never danced in her life, the ability to take simple cut flowers from the garden and create a small oasis in the middle of any table. Where is she?

We still see traces. The doctors we are visiting in these weeks of exploration are struck with how ‘sharp’ she is. They should have seen her 10 years ago! She can still make you smile, put you at ease, tell you stories about her more distant past. She cannot dial the phone, read a calendar, remember what you told her 10 minutes ago.

It is all so completely unexpected. No one else in her family tree has suffered anything like this - and she - she has always been herself. Deliciously, frustratingly, wonderfully, sometimes obnoxiously - herself. Now? We’re not sure.

And we weep inside.