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.”