Ihope you can join me on Sept. 30 at Boxcar Park in Everett for Snohomish County’s 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The goal is to raise $178,000 to fund Alzheimer’s support, care and research. Find out more at www.alz.org.
— Jennifer Bardsley
Five years ago: Hold on a sec — let me take the roast out of the oven. There, that’s better. We’ll let it rest underneath the tinfoil before we eat dinner. I’ve lived here for 52 years, but you know that. Your handprints are on the concrete out back. You chose the paint color in the upstairs bedroom: “Pepto Bismol pink,” your dad called it, but I didn’t mind. Oops! That’s the timer for the bread. Would you mind pouring drinks? A friend from water aerobics gave me the recipe for a Moscow mule.
Four years ago: Yes, it’s a lot smaller, but I’ve got everything I need. A lady comes twice a week to clean for me, and I eat downstairs in the dining room anytime I want. Can you imagine what my mom would say about this? I’m living in the lap of luxury. And you helped me arrange my furniture in such a clever way. It looks like Better Homes and Gardens in here. Can I get you snack? I picked up some fresh strawberries at the market this morning on my walk.
Three years ago: I’m fine, all right? I just wish the television would work. The clicker’s broken again, even though I replaced the batteries. What do you mean this is the telephone? Oh my gosh. Of course, you’re correct. You’re so smart about these things. Maybe you can help me find my hearing aid while you’re here.
Two years ago: I’m sorry you had to see that outburst. That lady, well … I don’t think she’s “all there.” Let’s move over here to the living room. Oh, you like it? I haven’t done much with the furniture yet. The air conditioning is wonderful, though. There’s a patio outside? I didn’t realize that. To tell you the truth, I liked the old place better. I’m not going to stay here much longer.
One year ago: It’s you! You’re here. I’m so glad. I need to show you. See out that window? That’s your brother’s, I mean your husband’s, I mean … your son’s cars. That’s where he keeps his cars. Boy, he has a lot of cars. He keeps them right there in front. I watch them come and go all day long. He has quite the collection.
Six months ago: I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was Christmas. I didn’t get you those things I get you. What are they called? Presents. I mean presents. You said I did get you some presents? Oh, that’s marvelous! What a relief. I’ve been so fumbly lately. And you liked them? I’m sorry, I didn’t know it was Christmas.
Yesterday: No. Not here. Over there. I need to see your face. What I want. I just. Really. The thing is. Mom and Dad, Mom and Dad, Mom and Dad. They just. Meshed together. They all kind of meshed together. And you were part of it. You and the mom and the dad. And it was goodness. It was good. And you were there.
Jennifer Bardsley is author of the books “Genesis Girl” and “Damaged Goods.”
Find her online on Instagram @the_ya_gal, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as The YA Gal.