My crossword puzzle solving, Honors thesis proofreading, once world-traveling mother sounded slurred when I called her last week. She also thought I was my brother, Jamie.

Home Care checked her every two hours during the night, and Jamie came over in the morning. In consultation with my brother, the nurse in her building sent Mom to the hospital by ambulance.

No, she had not had a stroke. The immediate medical problems are now being addressed, and Mom’s left with age-related cognitive decline, which started to accelerate just a few months ago. Jamie’s wife has introduced the idea to Mom that since she’s doing “so well” in the hospital, she might be better living in a place where she gets more care. Meanwhile, we’ve put her name in for long-term care.

What does the future hold for my mother? Plenty of visits from us and compassionate caregivers wherever she is, I trust; a good home for her cats, I hope … and, even as memory fades and confusion crowds out her top-of-the-class intellect, I pray for a spirit that will someday soar back to its Maker.

Tommy and Tina may one day lose a precious great-grandma that remembers them, but I trust that her legacy of kindness, helpfulness and initiative will live on in them as it has in her grandchildren.

“Love never fails”

I Corinthians 13


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