Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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My mother didn’t raise a thief, but by the time you round forty, you’re pretty much raising yourself. I scooped the package from its hiding place, then waved my free hand at the doorbell camera.
Everything new disappears, within and without. Alzheimer’s disease is eroding her hippocampus. . . . She has what the neurologist calls “rapid forgetting,” so she lives in a state of evanescence; nothing holds.
Lovely things, the railings. When it’s raining just right — half raining, the way it so often does here — the spiderwebs spun across the rails collect mist and shine, so that the Corrib looks like it’s swathed in sequined cloth.
The cataracts give her an otherworldly countenance, like a blind prophet who gazes more easily into the past than into the present. She is otherworldly, because she isn’t a part of this time where I dwell — not fully. She floats closer to us and then away again before we can grasp her.
I was six years old when I became aware that death was something that would happen to me. I was in the car with my mom, in the backseat because she followed the rules, and we were on our way home from the grocery store.
We rent a condominium together, my eighty-six-year-old widowed mother and I. Sometimes she summons me from her bedroom at the end of the hall. I have learned to guess from her tone what it is she wants.