The Changed Password by Joanne Jagoda

In the middle of a video conference with Japanese clients, my assistant mouthed, “your mom.” I scribbled a note to my boss eyeing me, “ mom emergency” slipped out and grabbed a phone. A feeling of dread bubbled in my stomach. She probably misplaced her keys again. I kept a spare set. She was forgetting simple tasks too. Last Saturday at 6am I got a panicked call.

“Dede, my coffee maker is broken. I put in the coffee but it is not working. I hate it.”

I rolled over in bed and groaned. “ Ma, give me half an hour and I’ll check it out.” She had put the coffee where the water was supposed to go.

I refused to believe my vital, intelligent sixty four year old mother; retired business woman, bridge player, and crossword whiz, could be showing signs of dementia. I attributed these changes to her getting over the sudden loss of my dad last year. My husband Stan was trying to prepare me that this was more than normal grieving.

“Ma, please, I’m in the middle of work.”

“Dede, I tried to get money out but someone changed my password. I tried it over and over, but the machine ate my card.”

I closed my eyes and tried to breathe. Tears filled my eyes. “I’ll come and find out who changed your PIN, uh..your password. Ma, where are you?”

She answered sheepishly, “I’m not sure. This nice man here in the handsome uniform will tell you.”


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Filed under Joanne Jagoda

10 responses to “The Changed Password by Joanne Jagoda

  1. Al McDermid

    That final sentence broke my heart. Excellent telling though.

  2. Deborah A. Upton

    Very realistic. I know people who are having to cope with similar problems with their loved ones.

  3. Poor woman and poor family. This scene comes across as all too real.

  4. Heart-breaking. And all too realistic. Peace…

  5. Yes, reality seems to beckon as useful for this week’s theme and you have drawn it beautifully in your story.

  6. Joanne Jagoda

    thanks everyone!!

  7. sweet, yes, and heartbreaking.

  8. The pain of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is realistically presented here. Nicely done.

  9. Pingback: Week #39 – Password | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  10. Michael

    Very well written. Heartbreaking look at dementia.

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