Monday, September 13, 2010

Memory: From a Time Before Time

I have a memory of being in the bathroom with my mother, at a time when I had not yet stopped being her perfect little girl. I think she might have been checking me and my long hair for ticks -- a summertime ritual in Virginia. "When I'm 40, you'll be 80," I declared.

"80 is very old," she said, and even then, I knew that was a message that she might not make it to that far off time.

She did not. Not quite.

Some months back, I wrote that my mother's Alzheimers -- or whatever neurological disease caused the progressive loss of function -- had reached the point where she could no longer talk or be cognizant of her surroundings, and that she was asleep or half asleep most of the time. My brother thought then that she'd live only a couple more weeks. But she lived more than five months, slipping the rest of the way away only this morning.