A mentor of mine is Weezie. She is 91 years old now and living in an Age Assisted Home in Heath Village, New Jersey. Her husband of 64 years died last Valentine’s and it seems Weezie, took it badly and had a stroke and now no low remembers anything. She somewhat remembers the past, doesn’t remember me at all — she thinks we are contemporaries — and it was a tough 45 minutes. No not because it bothered me to talk to someone who doesn’t know, but because I realized how much I missed the old Weezie and talking to the new one … where we have little in common is difficult. I continued on though, taking it as though meeting a new friend where I had the edge — I knew all about her and I was a “mystery”.
Nothing I said, no hints I dropped, jogged her memory. There was nothing that rang that proverbial bell. It was odd. She could remember things and joke about them and then be surprised I knew them. she said at one point, “We were close then?” I had to choke on the words and say “yes’.
“Oh so that’s why you called. That’s good”. “Yes I said”.
My own mother had had a stroke but it had never affected her memory. She always remembered everyone and everything. What it did effect was the left side of her body so she could no longer knit and crochet or sew or bead for that matter, but mentally she was fine.
I had an aunt who lost her marbles to Alzheimer’s but she always knew me, so again there was nothing like this. This was ununusal to me; talking to the same voice, the same lady but one who was blank. it is a jarring feeling, like a telephone line that rings and rings unknowingly that no one is home and that they have moved and when someone picks it up the voice is the same and you start a familiar conversation but they don’t respond but politely listen as though hoping like you it will all become clear.
I had written several times to Weezie. Her daughter responded but did not give me any particulars. I did find it odd that Nancy did not mention her father, and I figured he had died…but Nancy hadn’t said anything so I wasn’t sure. What really got me the more the conversation continued was we had talked the Christmas before — 2012 — and she had never told me he was dying. She was full of vim and vigour and happiness. She did though at the time suggest that I visit, but she always did that. I was upset that she hadn’t told me Jack was ill, but that doesn’t matter now.
Proverbs 16:31 – The hoary head [is] a crown of glory, [if] it be found in the way of righteousness.