Night before last, I was driving Miss Daisy as we like to say when we’re driving Mama around. This is the time of day we literally take turns driving her around the county to keep her happy and to give Daddy a break mentally and physically. It’s her sundown time, her toughest, his toughest, and it keeps expanding. Now it starts about 3 p.m. and ends around 7 or 8 p.m. And by the way, when we’re out riding, I realize Mama would make a good “Yard of the Month” judge – she critiques everybody’s yard as we go by. If you ever want an honest opinion on how your yard looks, just let me know and we’ll do a drive by, LOL, free of charge, or I can tell you what she’s already said! She’s a rather tough critic so be prepared. If I hear “boy they’ve let their yard go” one more time… I should keep a list of those.
Anyway, Mama and I were sitting in my car waiting for someone who was meeting me and she looked right into my eyes and said, “Do I know you?” and smiled a very slight smile like she was trying to be friendly while asking the question. While Mama has forgotten Mitch’s name almost entirely, forgotten really everyone’s name but mine and Daddy’s, it was hard to hear although I knew in my heart these times were coming. I looked at Mama directly in the eyes and it was one of those moments, so strange to think my own Mama was looking at her daughter’s face and didn’t know who she was but yet she felt safe with me obviously. It was like her eyes were so empty but her face, her face was that of my Mama. I asked her as lightheartedly as I could, “Oh come on, you don’t know who I am?” and bless her heart, she studied my face as if trying so hard to find me, as if she so desperately wanted to know who I was, and slowly shook her head no. I wanted to cry but didn’t want to scare her. At the same time, I was almost oddly prepared as I knew it was coming. I asked her if she knew her daughter’s name and she said Tracey. I asked her if she thought I might be Tracey and she said, “I don’t know.” Within seconds, she looked away, looked back, and said, “What are we waiting on? We can go now.” Mama doesn’t like to sit for long. So off we go on our tour around Mebane and our occasional venture into Burlington, which means packing a lunch as I like to say when I have to go that far.
One thing about it, Mama may not remember much, but she can sure tell me how to get to where I’m going… “Don’t we need to take this exit?” and “Don’t we need to turn here?” and she’s right every time. And if you drive past that road or that exit, be ready to explain.