Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Memories of Guest Artist Ben Kushner: Dementia’s Ah-Hah Moments

Before it was "Fame" and before it became LaGuardia, Ben and I went to Performing Arts High School together.  His mom, Eleanor, now 91, was born at 2083 Clinton Avenue in the Bronx (near Morris Heights).  He shares his journey with Eleanor in Her New York.

My sister, her sons and her husband came to visit Mom at the very lovely assisted living facility where she now resides. 

My nephew, Ziad, brought his girlfriend Cassie. Mom had met her once before, but it was late in the day and sundowning was kicking in.

Introductions were made once or twice. Mom understood who everyone was and that Cassie and Ziad were together. Mom turned to me privately and asked if they were serious.

The visit was very short and soon it was time for dinner. My sister and family got ready to leave. There were farewells and more re-introductions.

Finally, I was left alone with Mom. I was getting ready to escort her to the dining room when she asked me, "What's her name? Your girlfriend’s name?"

I said, "That's Cassie. She's Ziad's girlfriend."

She pondered that for a moment. Then, "What's YOUR girlfriend's name?"

"I don't have a girlfriend; I have Adam."

Adam is my partner of 38 years. He and Eleanor have always had a wonderful relationship. Her first question to me always is, “How’s Adam? What’s he working on?”

Only this time she paused.

She looked at me and then smiled, "Oh, you're one of THOSE".

"No, Mom, we're TWO of those"

My Mom had forgotten that I was gay.

Related Posts:

The Visit To The Hospital: Part One

Sunday Memories: Lost in The Dangling Conversation, A Childhood Joy Found

Getting Lost In The Dangling Conversation

Sunday Memories - Lost In the Dangling Conversation* - Florence as a Memory