7 Address Books

As we put our house back together after six months of projects, I came across two additional small address books of my mothers while lightening the load in my office closet. I thought five were enough… The original address book, known to me from childhood, remains on the Island. The additional 6 (identical) are here. Reviewing the books from most recent to oldest, based on the condition of their paper covers, and certain addresses listed, shows an interesting progression of my mom’s illness. Her handwriting in the older books is regular and steady. It become, not wonkey, but not regular as the books progress to the most recent. Things are crossed out, and email addresses are indecipherable.

In what apprears to be the most recent book, there are lots and lots of duplicate entries. Two and three time for the same person, sometimes on the same page. The repetitive entries lessen with each book, yet in the oldest book one of my children is listed on the ‘XYZ’ tab. This, and seeing the same deceased family and friends crossed out of each book, tells me mom was indeed using them interchangeably without realizing it. I actually wonder if she knows she has six of these books. It also explains why she kept asking for family member’s contact information over and over again. Not every person is listed in every book.

In one of the books, there are several pages that had identical trimmed address book pages taped over them. When I removed the patched pages, there were entries underneath in someone else’s handwriting, of people my mom doesn’t know, But they are all Island contacts! It’s like mom saw this particular address book at a friend’s house, and pocketed it thinking it was her own. We don’t get to know.

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