This is me in Rome. I sat at the feet of ruins and smiled through the lens at my boyfriend. It was October, but warm. I was thinking about a nap, and fresh fettucine, and a full red wine. There I was. There I will always be, somewhere in my mind.
What are we without our memories? When they fade, what are we left with?
My mother has Alzheimer’s disease and remembers less every day. Her voice is reduced to a stockpile of words she strings together in no particular order, but she sounds like my mother. Her face is older, but she looks like my mother. Her hands are soft, like my mother’s always were. But where is the person I have known all my life?
These questions hang between us every time I visit her. I am spending time with a person living totally in the present. I would envy her spotless mind, if it didn’t trouble me so…to think of losing all the beautiful moments of my life, even if they took the bad ones with them.
And so I’m putting on “paper” the memories I want least to forget. They’re for my mother, so she can see where I go when I am out there in the world. And they’re for you, if you want to witness a woman trying hard to let go and live in her own present. But mostly they’re for me, so I can look back one day and remember.