Mom has been invited (and accepted) to speak at a gathering in San Francisco this month about a project she worked on for a good portion of my childhood. It’s quite an honor. Six days after her presentation there is a gathering at a book club to honor a book about one of the authors of the project she is speaking on.
Mom has been working with an old colleague on the presentation for a good month and a half now via phone and e-mail. There have been many points over which she has almost backed out of this trip, including the terror of possibly having to learn PowerPoint, and not recalling that her colleague has said mom could stay with her.
My husband and I had long standing camping reservations that would have had us away over mom’s departure date. Between ferry and shuttle schedules being at odds with each other (meaning mom would have to wait at the ferry terminal for two hours, or one hour if she caught a 5:45am boat off the Island, before boarding the shuttle) we decided that it was best to postpone our camping trip so I can get her from the ferry to the security line at the airport. Mom was relieved.
While discussing the plane reservation with mom, which I made Sunday evening, I could tell the whole planning and itinerary was sending her over a cognitive cliff. She couldn’t remember from second to second what day she was leaving or returning, that I’d pick her up at the ferry (rather than take a shuttle), that I’d take her direct from the ferry to the airport, rather than spend a night at her mainland home before heading to the airport, that she’d given me her Visa number to book the flight. She kept asking when she’d pay for the flight. I kept saying, “When you get your credit card statement” She asked me to send her an itinerary. I did. It was very, very detailed, right down to likely bording times, and a joke, in all seriousness, about not joking with law enforcement at the airport. She likes to show people her Elvis Sheriff’s badge and driver’s license. Cute when you’re going through your local customs stop getting off the boat, but not so much at a large regional international airport.
When I called her yesterday, she was still a-twitter about the schedule. She said she handn’t received the itinerary or the confirmation from the airline. Of course, she found both in her e-mail when prompted. She did say that she had no recollection of seeing either e-mail before. We had a slightly less alarming round of dates and places recall. She printed both documents (one of them twice, as she forgot in the moment she’s just printed it) and seemed a little better. Then she started fussing about what to wear.