Questions I Can’t Answer

One of the games we still play around this house is “Remember when?” which usually involves a sentence that includes “…Mom did/said…”


This little game often keeps us laughing over and over again. It doesn’t matter what the memory is, 3 1/2 years later many of the stories involving her Lewy Bodies are pretty entertaining. This is one of my favorites.

The folks had only been living here about 3 weeks. It was a warm and pleasant early Fall evening. Dinner was over; I asked Mom if she wanted to take a walk. She was cheerful and agreed. We went out through the garage and got as far as the mailbox on the sidewalk. Suddenly she wouldn’t go any further. I said, “C’mon, Mom, let’s keep walking,”–she’d always enjoyed walking, taking strolls, talking to neighbors or anyone for that matter. But now she wouldn’t go beyond the curb.

“What’s the matter, Mom?” I asked quizzically.

She furrowed her brow, stared directly in my eyes, pointed her finger at my chest and demanded, “Why are you a terrorist?”  WHAT?!  “Why do you hate the American government?”

Now I will admit I wasn’t too thrilled with my high school senior year American Government teacher. Mr. Burris was a stiff. But the American government itself? At this point, however, it didn’t matter how many times I told her I was her daughter, Joyce, that I didn’t hate the government, I wasn’t a terrorist, and that, in fact, I was just a middle-aged woman trying to go for a walk on a nice September evening, she wouldn’t buy it. It took about a half hour before I could get her back inside. She was convinced that if she joined me she’d get blown up.

Now if you’re hearing of this tale for the first time it might be horrifying. But living with this behavior daily for several years and looking back at it, it cracks me up.

I later learned as the disease progressed that I couldn’t have Mom in the family room if the nightly news was on the TV because her brain interpreted the images as reality literally occurring right in front of her. All this while I’d be munching on a pizza at the kitchen table.


4 thoughts on “Questions I Can’t Answer

  1. I love your posts Joyce! I might even be your number 1 fan! I respect so much what you have done for your mom and what you are now doing for your dad. And it’s just a great tribute to the elderly!


    1. Thanks Sheri! None of us are getting younger and there’s a pretty good chance we may fall into the elderly category also. Caring for our parents, if we have the opportunity, can really help magnify the significance of the Golden Rule in those golden hours.


  2. Lol, that is a good one! Thanks for sharing. My Mother in-law takes the news as literal as well. Or even someone holding a rubber band saying, “I’m going to shoot you”. She thinks they have a real gun.


  3. Norcalmom, welcome! I just read some of your posts. Your road will get more treacherous before it lightens up. But the loving caring example you are setting for your 5 children will be a blessing to them and you both now and in your future. Once you are able to stop expecting rational behavior from a formerly rational person some of your world will calm down. Prayers coming your way.


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