It was a simple query,
About a far flung cousin,
When mom struggled to place him
It set the warning bells ringing.
Yet, I refused to worry anymore
For my mom is a keeper of memories,
Surely this was a one off thing!
It was forgotten, the next time
When she recalled in vivid details a past event.
Thus lulling us into a false sense
Of all being well.
And then gradually we found her repeating herself.
During phone conversations,
Telling the same thing over and again.
Or sitting quietly during family gatherings,
Gentle proddings always yielding the same response –
I am listening to you all.
I always believed I was her confidant,
For she shared with me,
What she didn’t share with the other three.
Now her conversations with all of us are the same,
She will enquire after the kids and spouses
And then her mind meanders
Asking after people no longer around
And events which none of us can recall.
The woman who knew each nook and cranny of her house,
Like the back of her hand,
Sometimes forgets what she had had for lunch.
She, who would remember all birthdays and anniversaries,
Struggles to recall which day or date is today.
The encyclopedia of family anecdotes and happenings,
Can no longer regale her grandkids with stories.
TV does not interest her any longer;
She loses the thread of daily soaps.
Repetitive and at the same time forgetting,
She exasperates self and us.
Old age dementia is creeping upon her,
Unraveling her bit by bit.
The woman who was a repository of all our troubles and woes,
Is battling her demons alone.
My mom is getting forgetful
And I watch helplessly,
Unable to help her anymore.