“Dad’s been gone for eight years, Mom.” She stood and went to the doorway. “I think he’s in the living room. He just went down to smoke.”
“I can’t remember anything. I’m so confused,” she said. She looked around at everything unfamiliar. The window with its slip of linen curtain. The painting of our flat on Union Street. The desk with the knock-off Chippendale chair.
When my mother came to live with me, after she fell and broke her arm, I slept in my old office so I could be closer to her in the guest room across the hall.
I hung sleigh bells on her door in case she got up and tried to go down the stairs at the end of the hallway.
I had just drifted off to sleep when I heard the bells clang. I bolted upright and blinked into the darkness. My mother was standing there holding her broken arm.
“Where’s Frank?” she asked.
“Dad?” I blurted. I knew she was referring to my father but I didn’t know how to answer. Doesn’t she remember that Dad died? Was this possible? Was this happening?
“Is he downstairs? I’ll go check.”
“No, Mom! Let me check.” I got her to sit down. Ho…