Tuesday, October 20, 2015

You Are Here

I am here.
She is there.

I am sitting in a wicker chair on the porch of a memory care facility in Kansas City.  My mother is inside.
I flew 1500 miles from Portland to Kansas City to get here.  I grabbed a window seat so I always knew where I was.  The plane flew over Washington, across the Badlands and Nebraska farms.  I spotted the Missouri River and knew we were about to land.
 I am here.
She is there.

"Where am I?" she asks me.  "Why am I here?"

"For better care, mother.  We do not want you to fall again."

She does not remember her four weeks in rehab this summer.  She does not remember being in the hospital for a sacroplasty.
I think about all those maps with the You Are Here flags.  They have helped me negotiate my way through city streets, subways and shopping malls.  The have kept me oriented.  And calm.
I go back inside.  My eyes are once again dry and clear.  I hold my mother's hand and we talk about the past.  She can remember names and events and conversations from fifty years ago, but she has no idea what day it is or even what year.  She cannot remember what she ate for breakfast or that we arranged flowers for the dining room tables only an hour ago.

Tomorrow I will leave and she will not remember I was even here.

Because she is there.


  1. A poignant post. Here and there are all in our minds. I'm sorry that you can't both be in the now together.

  2. A truly touching post, so sorry to hear about your Mother. I experienced the same with an aunt of mine that I was very close too. It is a very cruel thing, so often more difficult for those on the outside. My thoughts are with you, Marea.