When I was at Eason House after work on Thursday, Mom was quiet but very, very sweet. She told me that my shiny necklace was pretty, gave me a big hug, and laid her head on my shoulder as we sat together on the sofa. She dozed off repeatedly, but never for more than a few minutes at a time.

The last time she woke up, she surprised me by wanting to go back to her bedroom. Most nights, she falls asleep in the living room, so this was interesting. I helped her out of her robe, and she laid right down in bed. As I stood there rubbing her back until she fell asleep, I momentarily flashed back to standing over the crib, rubbing Jess’ back until she would fall asleep… Back then, I certainly couldn’t have imagined that this is where we would be 26 years later. Life is funny that way, isn’t it?

Fast forward to today. When I arrived, Mom and Rene were just heading back into the house after sitting on the porch for awhile. The heat was a bit much, and the woman who was so sweet and loving a few days ago looked thoroughly p*ssed off at the world. Somewhere between getting out of the car and stepping into the house, I realized that it was not a particularly good day. She was edgy to say the least.

She has a very disturbing habit of smacking her head with both hands, in what appears to be a fit of frustration. It’s one of the things I hate the most, because she just looks so lost and so sad. When she does this, I often wonder if she’s having a moment of clarity and realizing that something is wrong with her brain. The doc says that’s not possible, but I don’t buy it – science doesn’t get it right 100% of the time.

Anyway, today, she was doing it so much that I thought perhaps she had a headache. Unfortunately, we’ll never know why she does it or what’s going on in that mind of hers, but whatever it is, it has to be awful for her.

One thing was certain; I couldn’t do anything to make her happy. Even as we cuddled on the sofa, she was extremely restless and was soon up and pacing. Dinner didn’t do much for her either. In fact, at one point, I thought I was going to be wearing both her her drink and a handful of baked beans… I finally gave up trying to get her to eat. She was very tired, and just wasn’t having any of it.

As I looked around the table, taking everything in, one thought washed over me with the strength of Niagara Falls. At that moment, all I could think was, “Please, God, don’t let this happen to me…”