A Day With Shirley

I make the hour’s drive to spend the day with my mom. As I pull in the driveway, she comes to the back door to see who is here. I see her face framed in the window. Does she know it is me? “Hi Shirley, it’s Barby!” I have come to visit you today. “Oh, that’s nice!” My mother is 92 with Alzheimer’s. She still lives in her own home under the care of my sisters and brother. “Have you eaten breakfast?” “I don’t know.” The dishes in the sink tell me she has. My mother was a card aficionado. She was the hub of her card playing gang. She was always sharing stories about her sisters, aunts, and friends. Now she has no stories to share because she doesn’t know who those people are anymore. We play the card game War. Sometimes she knows an 8 beats a 5, sometimes not. I do not correct her. We eat lunch together. Then move on to the Adult Coloring books. She enjoys them. “What color should I color this?” “Make it any color you want.” Her picture comes out beautiful. In between she watches and reports on every car that drives by. There is another one, another, and another. She loves my blouse. “Is that new? It is very pretty.” Countless times. My family is blessed because her Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms are such that we can still spend time with her. When I leave for the day, she says, “But who will stay with me?” I tell her she is not alone, my brother and sisters are there with her. It breaks my heart as I drive out the driveway, to see her face again framed by the glass in the back door. I love you, Mom.

b.a. roger
Pawtucket, RI