Forget Me Nots

I sigh and look out the window, taking in the bright sunshine and luminous colours outside the glass prison of a restaurant I was currently trapped in.
“Lunch was nice, what is it we’re doing for dinner?” I hear spoken aloud.
The question suspended in mid air, weightless.

I turn and face my mother and quietly say, " I’m making salad, remember? We agreed this morning?"
My mother blinks and looks flustered and then half laughs and says, “Oh! Oh yeah! Sorry! I forgot. I’m so tired today!”

You’re not the only one , I silently think to myself. I’m tired too.
Tired of all the repetitiveness, all the confusion, all the excuses.

My mother is getting old.
This means her memory is also getting old. And I am suddenly confronted with the harsh reality that her quality of life will only be down hill from here.
Confusion. Lost minutes. Ages spent looking for an item only to forget what it was in the first place.
Waiting for the day she forgets which way to turn on the drive home and ultimately, where she even lives.
And who she is.
And who I am.

Time has the juxtaposition of being a great healer and your worst enemy.
“What shall we have for dinner later?” I hear. Again.

I look into her dark brown eyes and see them searching…and the light fading.
She didn’t always used to be like this.
She used to be outgoing, confident, reckless even.
Sharp as a whistle. Witty. Funny. Entertaining. Happy.

And now?
Now her day is made up of sighing, searching, second guessing, pondering, berating, frustration.

“I’ve already told you twice, I’m making salad!” I throw at her, my lack of patience showing through, exasperation embracing me like a romantic hug I am unable to shrug off.
She purses her lips and looks down to her hands folded together on her lap.
I’ve made her feel bad.
And now I feel bad.

I want to say sorry. Apologise for being a bitch. Turn back time and react a different way. Turn back time and change the state of affairs that got us here to this barren no man’s land of half finished journeys and half delivered promises.
I don’t want my last few memories of her to be of me being horrible to her.
I have power over my patience.
She has no such power over her memory.

I need to make more of an effort.

“I’m sorry” I say aloud.
“It’s just you keep asking the same questions and there’s only so many times I can repeat the same answers”.
“I know” she says. “I’m getting old”.

I look away and want to cry.

“I think we should have salad tonight” I hear my mother say.
I look at her and simply say “yes”.

Forget Me Nots


Harlow, United Kingdom

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