For a while, Lena’s been asking.
– Where’s Mama?
I pass it off.
– You’re the Mama.
– But where is she?
– Whose Mama? Mine or yours?
She’s almost forgotten mine. Hers is still very much in her mind. ‘This reminds me of my Mama’s kitchen’, she’s always saying as I’m preparing food. But it isn’t her Mama she’s looking for.
– No, the one upstairs.
– It’s you. You’re the Mama.
She shrugs, not really believing me, but not ready to pursue it.
– Oh. OK then.
But today Alzheimers came up with a new question.
– Where did that man go?
– What man?
– The one who was here this morning.
– I don’t think there was anyone here this morning.
– No, you know. The man who was here.
– The window-cleaner, you mean? He was here yesterday.
– No not him. The other one. The one you know.
– Edwin, you mean? Or Mike?
Son and daughter’s partner, respectively.
– No, not them.
– What does he look like?
– He’s … You know him. He’s your friend.
I don’t know who Lena’s talking about. I try to get her to tell me what he does, where he was when he came, what he said. But she just can’t explain. And as she struggles, her agitation grows.
– I don’t think I was very nice to him. That’s not like me. I didn’t mean to be nasty. But I’m worried he might not come back again. And I really liked him.
So who was it? I didn’t find out. I suggested lunch. Food usually works. And the moment passed.
But now, thinking about it again, I think I know who it might have been.
The old me, before I started getting fit and losing a few trouser sizes. Friends have mentioned how much it’s changed my appearance. Last night my daughter told me how my head suddenly looked too big for the rest of my body.
Was it the old, regular-sized Alan that Lena’s missing?
I hope my new regime isn’t a mistake.
Other stories from our Alzheimer’s life: