A day of gratitude (11/26/2020)

Happy Thanksgiving!
Every year we invite three cousins to Thanksgiving dinner. They are in their 70s and have their share of physical ailments, some more than others. Every year I wonder if this year will be our last. Will mom be alive next Thanksgiving? Will our cousins be well enough to drive the hour-plus to come have an afternoon of too much food and not enough conversation? We see these cousins twice a year– Thanksgiving and once in December for a Christmas concert one cousin performs in. We love seeing them. We love catching up. We love the time we have together.
Except this year.
This year it was just me and mom. Was last year our last year together? Will there be a next year? We didn’t invite them this year because of COVID. It seemed the wisest course of action given everyone’s pre-existing conditions. We were cautious this year so that we can have a next year. But will we have a next year?
I made turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry, a fruit salad, and a pumpkin pie. Mom helped a little with the fruit salad and washed up all the dishes. It was way more food than we needed and way less than we usually have.
Mom went to bed super early. We were both tired, I guess from the Tryptophan. We were alone all day but in the early evening one of the cousin’s called. A few hours later, when mom went to bed, she asked over and over again if anyone was expected here yet tonight. She said that we’d been so busy all day, with so many people here, and now suddenly everyone was gone. She was worried they’d be coming back. This is confusion. This is how I know it’s not mere old-age memory loss. She lives in a world I’m not a part of. No one was here but her, me, and the dog. We talked to one other person today– on the phone– and yet she thought our house was filled with people coming and going.
She does have memory loss, too. Or is she intentionally ignoring me? Here was an exchange we had while I was waiting for the dog to come back in from outside:
Me: It’s Thursday. Go in and take your meds. from the box marked Thursday.
Her: Oh, right. I have to take meds. What day is it?
Me: Thursday.
Oh boy. Honestly, I really do think sometimes that she doesn’t listen to a word I say.


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