Begin the Beguine


Mom didn’t just show up at the doctor’s office one day and get a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.  It took years.  Family and friends chalked it up to grief after dad’s death 5 years prior, which seemed reasonable.  But two years after Dad died, her odd behaviors and forgetfulness never subsided, only grew worse.


I was living out of state when I needed to move closer to Mom.  Staying with her allowed me to see unusual behaviors, at all hours of the day, that would otherwise go undetected by a one or two-hour visit, or a half-hour phone call.


I saw that her office had become a catch-all for clutter, crap and post it notes.  She was always an extremely organized person, yet junk mail, unpaid or delinquent bills were lost in piles everywhere.  She was having difficulty with the TV remote, retrieving emails from her computer and voicemail from her cell phone, which used to never be a problem, even in “grief.” 


She’d completely space appointments even after meticulously looking at her calendar that morning.  Her hand-writing, at times, was shaky