Losing Our Memory and Finding Each Other
A battle with Lyme Disease decimated my memory right as Alzheimer’s did the same to my grandfather—but surrendering our thoughts brought us closer together than ever.
Illustrations by Anna Haifisch
I keep an eye on my grandfather while I stir the vegetables for Christmas dinner, the oil popping as I wait for them to turn grass green. He hovers by the kitchen table, which is turned long ways tonight so it can hold all the platters of food that will be passed around the dining room. He is waiting for the turkey to be done, as he is the one who has always carved it. His eyes have a hazy look in them. He is bent forward and he shifts his weight from side to side in a manner that he never did when he was well. Alzheimer’s has withered his mind to the point that it shows up in his posture now. He waits alone, though the kitchen is crowded — my uncles are standing by the doorway drinking, my dad watches the turkey, and my mother tends to the potatoes with an aunt standing at her shoulder, chatting. My grandfather interacts less and less with people, I notice. I remember doing the same — withdrawing when I was losing my own memory because simple conversatio…