A Moment of Realization

Although I have made it clear that Kate’s short term memory continues to decline, and I am looking at 2015 as a turning point to a more serious stage of Kate’s AD; sometimes there are moments that shake you just a little. Such a moment occurred yesterday afternoon.

Following our lunch, we were in Belk’s when I received a call from Ellen that she was locked out of her car and needed to get to a 3:00 pm appointment. I told her we would be there to pick her up and take her home to get a key. (First, I should say that Kate and I had gone to see Selma the day before. Because it covered events that were especially relevant for our generation, it had an impact on both of us. On the drive home, we talked about the movie and our memory of racism as we were growing up. Once home, Kate went to her computer and did some checking on the actual events as she often does after we have seen a movie.)

As we were driving to pick up Ellen, the radio was tuned to NPR. They did a segment in which they mentioned Selma. Then Kate said, “When are we going to see it?” I hesitated a moment, and she repeated her question. I told her we had seen it “yesterday.” She then hesitated a moment as though the significance of her memory lapse has startled her as well. Then she said, “Well, I remember my birthday luncheon” that had been the day before.

It is not unusual for Kate to forget things so quickly. This happens all the time, even during the same day or even after a few moments. The difference in this particular lapse was that the movie had had such an impact, we had talked about it, and she had explored the events on her computer after getting home. I took that as a signal that the AD is entering a more serious stage.

I want to add that after I had told her we had seen the movie, she thought about it a moment and then remembered that we had seen the movie. She specifically pointed out a number of things she had remembered correctly.

This morning before going to the kitchen to fix my breakfast, I reminded her that today would be a busy day for us. She asked what we were doing. I told her we would go to lunch and then to a memorial service for one of her PEO sisters at 1:00 and then go directly to a 90th birthday party for another mutual friend. Then tonight we are going to see Broadway Bound. Before going for my walk, I told her that our friends, the Robinsons, were not going to be able to attend the Live at The Met performance of The Merry Widow after all because the tickets were sold out. We had originally planned to go ourselves, but we have the memorial service and birthday party. While on my walk, I got a call from Kate saying that Ellen had called and invited us to go see The Merry Widow with her this afternoon. I told her we were going to the memorial service and to the birthday party. She simply didn’t remember. This kind of thing is happening all the time.

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