Little Deaths

Thinking about death a lot lately, not from a macabre sense of impending doom but more because our parents are getting to an age where you see that it could be on the horizon. Of course, Alzheimer’s is like a little death every time something drops off the list of “used to be able to.” Last week, my mom was amazingly lucid and I was so excited to know that she could still phone me every now and then and remember who I was. But to know that her brain is shrinking and that won’t happen one day is devastating.

My husband and I are moving in a few weeks and seriously downsizing, so we were going through a huge box of cards we’d sent each other over the years. I was so pleased to see within that box a few from my mother and son, including wedding cards (!) and anniversary congratulations. Looking at them, I realized that there would be no further cards from my mother, that what I had was right in front of me and that pile was finite. Even if she could make her way over to the card store, she’d never know how to find my address, mail it, and get it there in any kind of time. My mother, who knew the birthday of every obscure cousin – second and third – plus their spouses birthdays, their wedding days, and what color socks they liked to wear! I have one thing going for me: I’ve NEVER been good at remembering dates. One less thing to fall by the wayside if this dreadful disease happens to me.