Saturday, November 12, 2011

Polar Bear?

The most important audience to these memories are my daughters.  One is just beginning to read simply sentences, the other too young to understand that words put together make sentences, but to me it does not matter.  I write for them.  In a handful of years these words may not even be “published” on the internet.  They will sit, bound in a book on a shelf, waiting to be read by my girls. 

I visited with my mom yesterday afternoon.  Giving my dad the night off, I offered to her help her drink her daily can of Diet Coke and feed her dinner.  Moving back to Woodbury has opened up a part of my mom’s memory bank that I love tapping into.  She remembers the layout of this house.  I can tell her the different changes we are making to it to make it ours. Like a typical mother, some changes she likes, others she isn’t so fond of. 

She always asks me about the deer.  “Have you seen any deer?”  She usually tells the same story about the 12 deer (pretty sure this number is inflated, but come on, who doesn’t inflate wild life stories?) that played in the backyard on the golf green and sand trap that my dad built.  I do remember this memory.  So we talk, we laugh and we remember. 

On this particular night, my mom’s memory began to wander when we had the following conversation.  “We had lots of animals in the backyard…  One time (her eyes got as big as saucers) we even had a POLAR BEAR on the DECK!!!  If I may interject-we did in fact have a visiting bear for a few weeks about 10 years ago.  He was up on the deck (pictures to prove) snacking on the bird seed in the bird feeders.  However he was a black bear, not a polar bear.  I could barely contain my laughter and I didn’t even try.  She caught on to my laughter and kept insisting that it was in fact a polar bear.  Once I told her that I knew it was a bear, “but Mom, a polar bear?  They live in the North Pole.”  Something seemed to click and she giggled along with me… Hmmm she said…and I could see her almost comprehend that she had made the mistake. 

When she laughs she is the woman who I remember as my mom.  Sometimes I wish she would just snap out of the dementia and be back.  One laugh would end and she would say “Whoa…what just happened?”  Now wouldn’t that be something…

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