She Slips Away

She is slipping away from us. Losing words, forgetting sentences, misplacing objects. She’s in her early 60s and has always been one of the sharpest people I’ve known. She has lived all over the world, first as a Marine and then working for the Department of Defense. She loved new places, made friends easily (kept them for life), and excelled at her work. Then, a few years ago, she started switching jobs and making some strange career choices. We couldn’t figure it out, but she always had a reason. She’s got a strong personality and doesn’t put up with any nonsense, so it’s not like she’s never had disagreements or issues with bosses, but she’s never lost a job or been transferred because of it. And then she moved home and began living with her mother. At first, it was to help her mother, or at least that is what she told everyone.

We thought it was because she’s always had insomnia. Maybe she was forgetting because she was so tired. It’s hard to have a clear mind when you’re exhausted. But it didn’t get better. She went to a psychiatrist who told her nothing was wrong with her. At least that’s what she told us he said. She went to a general practitioner who said he doesn’t think she’s had a stroke. Doesn’t think? Her son is working to get her on his insurance so he can take her to a different doctor.

And while they wait to get her to a doctor, her mother worries. Her kids worry. Her nieces worry. She gets angry and frustrated because she doesn’t know which utensil you want when you ask her to grab a fork from a drawer. She forgets why she went to the back yard. She loves young kids when she couldn’t stand them before. She gets lost in the museum. So her mother is taking care of her again. And everyone prays and worries and waits for new insurance.

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