“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien
“Do you ever get stressed when great grandpa asks the same question over and over again,” my 11 year-old granddaughter asked. “He doesn’t seem to remember anything you say.”
“It doesn’t help either one of us if I get upset,” I said. “I have to be patient. His memory isn’t very good, so I have to remind him. And sometimes he surprises me and remembers something I’ve told him.”
She’d caught me early on in the day. I hadn’t yet answered his many queries—does dad need me to come to the store to help, is mom sleeping, is your mother out shopping—and so my voice didn’t sound edgy and raised, I hadn’t yet looked away and rubbed my forehead in frustration, or rolled my eyes to the heavens to pray for more patience. When I tell him again his parents, the family business and my mother are all gone, he asks me what I mean. “They are dead,” I say bluntly.