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August 11th, 2008 (10:19 pm)
thoughtful

current mood: thoughtful

All this talk of sewing and such reminds me of a conversation my sister and I had with my mother when she (Mother) was in Shady Pines, Version 3.1. Someone with Alzheimer's often doesn't know where she is, but events that took place decades ago are as clear as if they just happened.

Out of the blue, Mother to Debby: Do you remember that skirt?
Debby: What skirt?
Mother: The black and white skirt I made when we moved to Ft. Benning.
Debby: No, I don't think I remember that skirt.
Mother: I loved that skirt.
Me: I remember that skirt.
Mother (happily): You do?
Debby (doubtfully): You DO?
Me: I remember that skirt because I hid behind it when people spoke to me. I felt safe.

I knew to keep my explanation simple, but I remember that skirt for another reason: I used it in Three Fortunes in One Cookie.

My mother took me to the doctor one day, but she had no license then, so someone drove us. I'm not sure who, but either before or after the appointment, it must have been that person who took our photo. I can still feel the warmth of the sun, and hear the sound the skirt made when the breeze whipped it around my mother's legs. I wasn't afraid of doctors or hospitals by that time; still, my mother was, as always, a sustaining presence.

The scene was much different from the one I wrote in 3F for Phillip and his least favorite aunt, but the skirt whipped by the wind, and the happiness of the memory, was the same.

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