Who are you?

It sounds like the theme to CSI…. “Who are you? who, who, who, who?” and sometimes I feel like singing this song myself…. come on, tell me, who are you? Or, “Are you my mother?” (or father)

The people I am currently living with bear some resemblance to the parents who raise me. They have the same memories, their faces look familiar, and they call me daughter… but there are times when I am caught unawares by the changes that forever morphed the folks I call mom and dad.

My dad used to take care of everything – finances, house repairs (mostly successful), lawn care…. We also used to have discussions from time to time about thoughtful subjects – god, overeating, the meaning of life. Living with dad, however, was sometimes a careful walk on eggshells. You never knew when he was going to get upset… and the reason was not often clear.

Parkinson’s has taken away his ability to speak clearly, and frustration is a part of any conversation. It has also taken away his mobility – he falls frequently, with or without a walker, and sometimes for reasons only his body knows. He’s also a (for lack of a better word) humbler man. He is more temperate in his emotions, in many ways kinder than he was when I was growing up. He asks me for help (sometimes) and seems to appreciate what I’m doing (most of the time.)

Mom was the keeper of the calendar, the household manager. Things were on the calendar, but mom remembered and reminded.

She now remembers some birthdays, and becomes obsessed with things like Thanksgiving and Christmas because she used to have everyone over for those holidays.


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