Last night my tired, aching body nearly cried itself to sleep. And yet this morning, as always, I was up before dawn. Apparently my mind needs the calm quiet hours more than my body needs to rest. At the same time, I suspect each knows something the other doesn�t, having watched and waited through such a trying and difficult situation. It is also possible that, like two old, trusting friends, they have already resolved and understood the future.

In the busy light of day, I am well aware that my mother has not only lost much of her memory, but much of her mind, for we both must live and deal with the sad results. I have long since come to terms with her inevitable demise, and with the knowledge that her body will likely outlive her mind by many years. What I do not know, or am still too blind to see, is how long the process will take, and at what point it will become impossible for me to care for her at home. It might be exhaustion that impairs my vision. Or it might be my own desire for the current situation to end.

We are both suffering. While I might derive benefit from that suffering, she does not. Rarely is she able to follow a thought to its logical end. Instead, she thinks she is being punished. And though I tell her she has nothing to be punished for, and remind her that good and bad people the world over often suffer for no special reason, she cannot see how this simple truth applies to her. She cannot accept it, yet she is powerless to find another explanation.

Eight o�clock. I hear her toilet flush. A few minutes later, I see her in the living room, wearing a long sweater over her nightgown. She goes into the kitchen for some water, then decides to go back to bed. She climbs in, sweater and all. A heavy sweater on a summer morning � just for a glass of water, just for a short trip down the hall.

July 30, 2006

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