My Aunt Ruth was diagnosed with dementia several years ago. It’s steadily getting worse as time goes on, but she still remembers our names. She went from being an independent, outspoken, active senior to the complete opposite. It’s been heartbreaking to watch her decline.
My mom visited her on Sunday. When I came home, she said that Aunt Ruth wanted me to have her dolphin earrings, pictured above. I remember Aunt Ruth wearing these earrings often and I loved them when I was a child. I wore them for the first time today and kept touching them, remembering the times when she wore them, during a birthday trip to San Antonio, a road trip to New Mexico, to church. I know she probably doesn’t remember those times and that terrifies me, how one’s memory can be taken away in such a terrible way.
Maybe that’s why I’ve been writing memoir pieces, to freeze those moments in time in case I can’t remember them someday.