Yesterday was a good day. She was rested and mentally more “with it” than she has been lately. I had William in the car with me when I picked her up and asked her to “dog sit” for a few minutes while I ran into the store to get some milk. She takes this very seriously, holding him and his leash tightly in her lap.
As we drove home, I started the little litany of questions I’ve been doing recently.
“What is his (the dog’s) name?”
Long pause. “I don’t remember.”
“It’s the name of one of your favorite relatives.”
“Oh yes! William!”
“What’s my name?”
“No, Phyllis was your cousin.” She died a long time ago.”
“You’re not Phyllis? But you’re some sort of cousin.”
“No, I call you ‘Mother.’ What does that mean? What is my name?”
Pause. “Justina. Your father wanted you to have a Finnish sounding name.”
“Yes, but he also had several aunts going back for generations named Justina.”
“Oh? I didn’t know that.”
“So who am I?”
And so it went. I got her inside and seated in her chair at my breakfast table. It took a few more minutes for her process the idea of mother/daughter, but she didn’t seem upset. Then I asked her for her opinion. Which would she rather I do–let her be confused and just go along with whatever she was saying, or tell her the truth and make her think about what is real right now. There was no hesitation.
“Tell me the truth.”
Good for her!
After supper, as I was driving her back and we were laughing about something or other, she said, “We always have such a good time together. It makes me think of Gene and Glenn.”
Whoa! Full stop! I had never heard of Gene and Glenn.
“They were on the radio. They sang songs and told jokes. Always clean jokes. We used to love listening to them.”
When I got home, I Googled them and lo and behold, there they were on YouTube. A 1930’s duo. She would have been fifteen then. It’s one of the few memories from her teen age years she’s mentioned.