Part Two…A Backwards Glance

One spring weekend in May, our extended family gathered to honor my father’s 90th birthday. His 2 children and spouses, several of the grandchildren, nieces and his only living sibling from 2 states away, all came together for the weekend celebration. Saturday morning, we were gathered together in Dad and Mom’s condo, sharing stories and reminiscing. Dad was soaking up all the attention from the comfort of his favorite recliner.

Neither of my parents was aware that their 2 granddaughters from the west coast were arriving as a birthday surprise. The plan was for each of them to arrive separately, to prolong the excitement. At the appointed time, the doorbell rang and everyone waited while Mom walked across the living room to open the front door. There stood the younger of the 2 granddaughters in the doorway. Mom cried out her name in surprise and welcomed her into the living room with a hug. Dad was so pleased to see his granddaughter and she proceeded directly over to where he sat and gave him a big hug and kiss.

About 5 minutes passed before the doorbell rang again. Mom wondered aloud, “Well, who could that be?” seemingly insinuating everyone was already in the room. She opened the door, looked at her oldest grandchild and exclaimed, “Who are you?” Continue reading

Part One: A backwards glance…

We’ve all heard that hindsight is 20/20. I’d have to agree, but in my case, that clarity might be closer to 20/15 or 20/10. Looking back, the clues were so glaringly obvious! At the time, though, the thought that my bright, energetic mother might be showing signs of dementia, never even passed across my radar screen.

My parents received a hand-me-down computer from one of their granddaughters. It was their first experience with a computer and I must say, Mom, who was in her early eighties, learned the basics of computer use, including how to e-mail, without much trouble. Dad, nearing 90, was mostly interested in learning how to play a few simple games like solitaire, so that was the extent of his computer use. In any case, the extended family certainly encouraged any computer use, thinking it good “brain food” for our elderly parents.

After a couple of years successfully interacting with all of us through e-mail, Mom gradually Continue reading