three oranges on a blue background. The center orange is covered in a fuzzy blue and white mould

The woman is my mother, who is 81 and losing her memory, the past dissolving each day like so many tablets dropped into water and turning to fizz.

Do you know who they are? she says, speaking to me, because she realizes I’m there in the doorway. I’m visiting for a week from out of town. She knows me, though often now she forgets my name or the terms that define our bond: mother and daughter.

Back home I phone her every other day. Sometimes I have to wait for several minutes while she figures out which end of the receiver is the mouthpiece, which end belongs against her ear. Are you there? she yells. Hello? I try to coach her, projecting my voice across the miles that divide us, across the neurological terrain that’s more and more a desert for her, a harsh and difficult landscape. Finally there’s connection: Mom, can you hear me now? I repeat, and suddenly she says, Sure I can, as if there had never been a problem at all.

Read more in Creative Nonfiction.

Written by External Article
Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection. Have a great story about caregiving? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.