Sunday, April 30, 2006

Beyond Forgetfulness

“Am I ever glad to see you!” Bea says this morning when I enter her room and pad over to her bedside. She is staring up at me with urgency in her eyes. Something must be bothering her a lot. I think of hunger or thirst, or maybe knee pain.

With that wide-eyed, desperate look still in her eyes, she mouths words, as if confiding a horrible secret no one else but me should hear: “I don’t know who I am.”

I stand frozen for an instant, digesting this announcement.

“Beatrice,” I tell her in a soft voice, full of compassion.

“Beatrice," she repeats. "What a pretty name!”

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