“Wait, I have to write that down,” my mom says, during our nightly phone conversation. “Hold on.”
“Okay,” I say, trying to wait patiently while she looks for a pen.
When she gets back on the phone, she can’t remember what she wanted to write down.
My mom has been writing herself notes for a long time. Before she moved into assisted living, I would find little slips of pink paper all over her apartment. They contained random, sometimes indecipherable, messages.
“Milk. Bread. Soda.”
She never wanted me to throw any of them away.
“I might need them,” she’d say.
“Really? Do you even know who’s phone number this is?”
“I might remember one day,” she’d say, laughing. “You never know!”
But the notes are fewer these days. She’s forgetting to do the very thing that helped her remember.
“I have so many things I want to tell you,” she says. “But I keep forgetting to write them down.”
One day, about two years ago, she wrote down something she wanted to tell me. I found the crinkled little note under a magnet on her refrigerator.
It said, “Tell Beth. Miss her.”