Lately, since my mother has had surgery and chemo treatments, her memory is not what it used to be. She forgets simple words. Her long term memory still seems good, although sometimes she confuses the details. This could be normal aging, or it could be because of all of the treatments she has experienced. One day I was talking to my parents on the phone and my Mom was telling me something. She said to my Dad, "Oh...what's that thing we type on?" And my Dad said, "the computer?" She had forgotten that word. But when I think about all she has been through in the past two years, I'm not surprised. But still I have to wonder if this is permanent, or a sign of upcoming dementia.
For mother's day I decided to give her a small photo album with pictures of my family. I don't know why I haven't sent her pictures more often, I guess I forget she hasn't seen them. I put some pictures online, so other family members see them, but my parents refuse to get internet. They don't want their identity stolen. :)
For most of my married life I have lived far away from my parents. We are usually only able to visit them once a year. Some of my other siblings have lived closer, and see my parents much more regularly. Consequently, my parents are much closer to their children, and are more familiar with their lives. As my mother's memory has waned I decided I wanted her to have some pictures, with names written next to them. I don't know how bad her memory will get, but if she does start to forget people, maybe this will help her. I also just wanted her to have this small way to keep in touch with my kids' lives. I feel like she has missed so much because of us living so far away. I know pictures are a poor substitute, but I think it helps. It's really no one's fault. We can't visit any more than we do because of time and money constraints. But her life was much the same, and we kids only visited our grandparents once a year. I wish they would get internet. That has opened a whole new avenue of communication for the rest of us.