They call it sundowners--that confusion which occurs after the afternoon sun has set. Dishes washed, the coffee programmed for the morning, she walks quietly up behind me and asks me where I am going to sleep tonight, so sure we are in her old assisted living apartment and I am just visiting. She looks frightened when I pause too long telling her once again I am sleeping in my bedroom, right across from her bedroom; but her questions are sincere and fraught with her inability to understand where in the world she is and who those two girls are anyway (my daughters). When she sleeps I quietly unpack her things, hoping they are familiar objects which will comfort her. Then I see a folder of "jottings"--bits and pieces of her memory written down so that (she promises herself) she will hopefully never forget: "age does strange things to memory the saddest of which is forgetting. Here is something I wish to always remember: 'some say the world will end in fire--others say in ice. What I have tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate to know that for destruction ice is also great and would suffice--" I cannot remember who wrote it but I hope I never forget it."
all soul's day-- suddenly the trees leafless