Memorial at the Beach – Day Five


As folks have arrived for the gathering to honor my late father-in-law, many of them fondly greeted mom. She either asked me to remind her of their names (or who they are, and then says, “Oh Yes, yes!” but I don’t think she recalls everyone), or waited for context or a name to place them in her history.
We created a quiz about my father-in-law as a way to get the (very) casual program going, and to help the folks gathered from this quadrant of his life understand just how multi-faceted a man he was. Mom looked at the quiz and handed it back to me quietly saying she didn’t know any of the answers. The first question was “…at what college did the Smith, Brown, and Jones families meet in the 50’s.” Mom is one of those families. She still knows what college she went to. This is another example of her not reading.
Mom was a tad bemused to learn that appetizers weren’t dinner, and then bossed our host about how to cook clams. She took great exception to an attendee’s care of the campfire during the more structured part of the memorial, to the point where she stood up to fix what he was doing. My husband, myself and another friend, insisted that she sit back down immediately. She did, while voicing what Kevin did to the fire was wrong. My husband assured her Kevin was capable of stoking the fire, and she stopped protesting.  It was probably an eye opener for many of the guests. While mom still ‘presents well’ at first, things like this, getting testy about how someone is placing a piece of wood on a fire, while another is telling a story about a deceased loved one, are an unmistakable marker that something is amiss.
I walked mom up to her trailer around 11:30. Overall, again, it was a good day.

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