Friday, May 12, 2006

Announcing Paul’s Marriage

“Who are you?” Beatrice asks in a sharp voice when I appear at her bedside this morning.

Not being recognized is tough, but I am used to it by now. I smile and remind her, “Sandy.”

“Sandy,” she repeats. “You’re my daughter.”

At least Bea is not confusing me with the nurse today.

I relate good news as I feed her the porridge Sven made: “Guess what! Paul and Nathalie got married yesterday.”

“Who’s Paul?”

I stare at her, perplexed. “Paul. My son, Paul. Your grandson.”

The name still doesn’t ring a bell, and yet Bea adores Paul, her first grandchild, named after Paul, her husband.

My sister-in-law once commented about how good Bea was with children. Betsy appreciated Bea’s opening her arms to Ben, born with Down Syndrome.

“Paul,” Bea repeats in a soft voice, far away somewhere in the past. Maybe she is remembering the days when Paul worked in Wellfleet, the summer she washed his red Lobster Hutt aprons. Bea would get such a kick out of Paul’s girlfriends. Not that there were many, but she always amused us with her curiosity about his love life.

“Now that I’ve had breakfast, let me sleep,” she says.

I know Bea will be pleased when Paul’s marriage finally registers. Getting married was very important to her, and Paul's wife Nathalie is a wonderful woman.

No one was invited to the California wedding. Had I been invited, I could not have gone. There is no one else to care for Bea.

I close the door and let her sleep.

A dreary day from start to finish.

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