What is intuitive to most of us, is an enigma to my mother. She will ask what day it is, I respond “Monday,” and her next question is: What day will it be tomorrow? I’ve long since learned that giving her a lesson in the order of the weekdays is better replaced with the simple answer, “Tuesday.”
But sometimes the comments made from someone who doesn’t connect the dots can be quite funny. My nephew, Mom’s grandson called recently to announce he and his wife were pregnant with their first child. He told her they were keeping it quiet until her first doctor’s visit. Mom congratulated him, promptly forgot it was a secret and proceeded to tell her sister about it during their next phone conversation.
A couple weeks later we saw the announcement on Facebook and I remarked the baby news was no longer a secret. My mother, with a very surprised look, said, “I didn’t know they were having a baby.” I reminded her that she knew they were pregnant and her response was, “I knew she was pregnant, but I didn’t know she was having a baby!” My husband, daughter and I laughed, and Mom smiled. She didn’t connect the dots.
Another time, Mom heard a dog barking outside and looked down at her feet to see what was making the sound. I told her the sound was coming from outside and not at her feet. She said, “You don’t have much of an imagination.” Humor has its own set of dots.
My youngest brother comes up to visit Mom every other week and stays for dinner. One evening we were all chatting together as I prepared dinner. When it was ready and I called everyone to the table my brother excused himself to wash his hands in the bathroom. Mom looked over at me and motioned me over to her. She pulled me down close and whispered, “Who is that man’s mother?” I told her she was his mother. We both laughed and she said, “Don’t tell him I asked!”
What happened? Was it a momentary lapse? Did she forget who was sitting with her when he disappeared from view? I’ll never know the answer because Mom can’t tell me. Has she forgotten who we are, who her sons are? Not at all. She knows all of us.
You may be wondering, did I honor her request not to tell my brother? No, I did not. I think my brothers’ need to know my mother’s condition is more important than her wishes to keep her condition quiet.