Well, I'm sorry about the gap in the chronology of this weblog. I think I just needed to take a break from the relentless passage of time. Maybe I thought I could make time stop by stepping out of its current, but I can't.
A lot has happened. My mother turned 90 last month and we had a little birthday party for her.
"How old am I?" she asked me.
"You're ninety, mom."
Her eyes widened. "I am! That's unbelievable! How can I be ninety? I don't feel ninety."
"How old do you feel?"
She was perfectly serious.
I laughed. "You can't be forty. Even I'm older than forty."
"You are?" she exclaimed. "That's terrible!"
She shook her head. "You know, I must be getting old. I just can't remember anything, anymore." She looked up at me and blinked. "How old am I?"
Later on, I asked her, "How does it feel?"
"When you can't remember things. Does it frighten you? Do you feel sad?"
"Well, not really. I have this condition, you see. It's called osteo...ost..."
"You mean Alzheimer's?" I said, helping her out.
She looked astonished. "Yes! How on earth did you know that?"
"Just a guess..."
"I can never remember the name," she explained.
"Of course not."
"It affects my memory..."
"...And that's why you can't remember."
She frowned and shook her head. "Remember what?"
"There's not a single thing I can do about it," she told me, when I reminded her. "If there was something I could do and I wasn't doing it, then I could feel sad or depressed. But as it is...." She shrugged.
"So you're okay with it?"
She looked at me, patiently. "I don't have much choice," she explained, "so I may as well be happy."
mom, at 90.
photo by ester strijbos