As I entered the kitchen, I was greeted with an interesting sight of dark brown eyebrows drawn on my mother's face. Now mother has always enjoyed wearing make up, and I have to say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree on that one for sure. For whatever reason, mother has been thinking she's either going somewhere or she's just getting back from there for the past couple of days. On any given day, you can check her index finger and down under the nail will be bright red lipstick where she has stuck her finger in the tube to grasp the last smidgen. It just so happened that last week, I caught a glimpse of my finger when I was putting my glasses on and saw something I thought to be "blood." As I looked closely, I remembered that I had done the very same thing with my lipstick and was unknowingly carrying around a trace of vanity for everyone to see. This alone was enough to make me run to the store and buy a brand new tube of lipstick!
As I walked passed the coffee pot, I noticed that mother had not made her usual morning coffee, instead, there sat a cup of old coffee in the coffee maker where the pot goes. I asked "why did you do that mother?" She replied that she had used up all her coffee and thought she'd just drink the old. Knowing that she had plenty, I opened the drawer that she always keeps her packets in and showed her differently. Mother had sat the cup on the coffee pot burner, in an attempt to heat it. I have to admit, for someone who thought they were out of coffee and needed to heat a cup up, that was a pretty clever thing to do, even though the microwave sat within inches of the pot.
I had been remarking to my sister over the past few days, that other than memory loss, mother was doing pretty well. From past experience, I should have seen this one coming. Even though mother wasn't wearing her green turtleneck or hadn't particularly been flashing me with a foolish grin lately, I should have known that something was awry after witnessing her morning calamities.
My husband has a habit of driving around on any given evening that he's home and has some free time, and taking pictures of wildlife. You can also witness me, sitting in the passenger side taking a nap or just resting my eyes as I like to call it. This evening, we were making our rounds, snapping pictures of white tail deer grazing in a far away meadow, thinking that all was well with the world when my cell phone began to ring. As I picked up the phone, I noticed it said "home." Now as a rule, our evening will usually go uninterrupted. This time, it was a call, from my daughter at home, telling me that "Mema" had called and couldn't find a little girl. She had been searching for her frantically. I quickly informed my husband that we needed to leave and head on back to mother's house.
As we pulled into her drive, mother's dog Annie was running in and out of the woods, up and down the bank as if she was sniffing a rabbit or something. Mother greeted us with a peek into the car. Looking at her son-in-law with his nature's hat abounding, she asked if she could help us. I leaned over and said "Mother, it's me!" She at once recognized her new visitors. "I am in trouble!" she said, "what am I going to do?" "Jean, I promise I didn't petition these girl scouts to come here, I don't know where in the world that child disappeared to." We began to reassure her that she had done nothing wrong and softly escorted her to the front porch so she could tell us the entire story. As she began to tell of the recent events, you could see the fear on her face. Perhaps that of a mother who had lost her child. If you've read my earlier posts, you'll remember a similar event, but that of a little boy. Mother continued on with her folly, saying that she felt uneasy about the Girl Scouts coming here and leaving this girl behind. She said this 12 year old girl had just appeared at her door, uniform and all, so she had sat and talked to her for some time until she decided to come into the house to call a lady who she thought was the scout leader and see if she would come pick her up. As she looked for the lady's phone number, she came out to check on the girl and she was gone. "No car, no nothing had been to her house, it was as if she vanished into thin air," she explained. As I sat there looking at mother, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe that little girl scout might have been me or my sister Sue as a 12 year old.
The Girl Scouts had played a huge part in my life as well as my sister's. From Brownies, to Cadets, we spent most of our younger years as scouts.
Another scenario I considered; was the little girl that mother had lost possibly Annie, the dog who was eluding mother as a usual event about nightfall from coming into the house and she thought she had been a little girl who decided to leave without telling. Whatever the rhyme or reason, mother was once again in the presence of children. If you will notice, many of mother's hallucinations deal with children. I console my thoughts, just knowing that children are one of the closest things to being in the presence of an angel. Mother has been the most wonderful, mom, grandmother and great grandmother that anyone could have ever had.
This morning, I arrived at mothers, wondering what she would say about the events of the previous evening. As I suspected, she didn't remember a single detail.