It had been a week since I saw her last. A friend and I spent a few days in the Great Smokies last weekend. Sunday morning, 6:30 a.m., I got a call from Whispering Pines saying she had fallen in the bathroom and hit her head. They were sending her to the emergency room.
Yikes. What to do? I was three hours away. I called a friend in Athens who visits her regularly and asked if I could give his name and number as a local contact. He agreed, and I uneasily went back to bed, waiting to hear if I needed to pack up and return home early.
By mid-morning we had gotten the all-clear. She had been x-rayed head to toe. Nothing was broken, so they were sending her back. Late that afternoon I phoned and talked with her. She didn’t remember anything that had happened that morning.
I had her home for supper tonight. She was talkative and affable, just very confused. Wanted to know if I had had my house built last year. How far was it from Sheldon Road? (in Berea, OH) Where was it I live again? You mean she lived with me here? Really?
Three times this evening I asked her if she knew who I am.
“Of course, you’re Tina.”
“And WHO am I?”
“You’re my cousin, Reuben Parker’s daughter.”
“No, Reuben Parker was your step father. I never met him.”
“Then who is your father?”
“Jack Freeman was my father.”
“Oh. I married him, didn’t I? Wonder what happened to him.”
“He died six years ago.”
“He did? I didn’t know that.”
I reminded her of details about the funeral, but it was all lost to her. She wasn’t particularly upset, just surprised. As she often is when I tell her that her mother, grandfather, aunts, and most of her cousins are no longer alive.
“Well, how old are you?”
I told her.
“I must have had you when I was five.” Ba-da-bing! She was grinning at her own joke.
As I’ve said before, when the wise cracks quit, it will be time to pack up and go home.