This has always been hard for me. See I am the youngest in the family and everyone thinks the youngest gets away with murder. Well, okay, not murder, but I did get away with some pretty good stuff. Mom gave out some good punishments, most of which were tongue lashings. She did use a paddle in the day over my behind. I think she broke it once. (I had a book in my britches)
Okay, lets move forward to about 5 years ago. My brother had called and indicated that mom’s memory is getting much worse and suggested that we come and visit. So we packed up the kids and headed to Wyoming to see mom and dad for awhile. We had a great time, but during the 4 day stay, mom did not recognize who I was. She was not sure. Yes she was nice, but she could not recant memories of me or call me by my name. Typical of people who are loosing their minds, she recanted the same story over and over again.
It was hard at first, but I thought, you know, she’ll come out of it sometime.
Tradition for mom and dad was as we were leaving the drive way they would always come out onto the back porch and wave goodbye as we would be driving away. My dear wife, said I’m sorry that your mom did not remember you. I said, well, I remember her and that is okay.
Backing about half way down the drive way, my wife yelled STOP!! It definitely scared me and of course I did. See I was looking backwards and not forwards. My mother had quickly ran down the porch stairs and was heading to us. I rolled down my window, she took both of her hands and placed them on my face. Then she spoke “I know who you are…you’re Lee” Where are you going? Come inside, she said softly. I said mom, I have to leave we have been here for four days and I cannot stay any longer. She said please come in, I miss you. I said I’m sorry I can’t. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and waived good bye.
As we drove away, I tried to fight back the tears, but I could not. I cried like a baby. It was the last memory that mom had of me. She was there, but the reality was, it was just a shell, and she had no memory of life now.
Later when we moved mom into Idaho, closer with us. She referred to me as that man, all the time. Sometimes she would visit with me, and other times she acted afraid of me. About a year before she passed away, I was trying to test her memory of what she could remember of her life. She began, 65 years ago. She was the second oldest of 8 girls and one brother. Even at that she could only remember her older sister, and a set of twins born after her.
If your loved one is loosing their memory. Take the time to go and see them and remember them before they forget you. I was so glad that I did. The experience of moms hands on my face will be one that I will die with. I love my mom and dad.