“Your lunch is ready Mother,” Nate said walking in from the kitchen. Elizabeth sat in a high backed upholstered chair at her oak writing desk in the corner of the living room. The small ornate antique desk had been passed down for several generations, and his mother had used it as her writing desk for as far back as he could remember.
“Lunch?” she said. “But, I’m not a bit hungry.”
“It’s past noon. I came in from the gardens just to fix us something to eat.”
“In a minute. I’ll just sit here for awhile longer, Nate.”
Nate shook his head. “I’ll leave your sandwich on the kitchen table. Don’t forget it’s there.”
Nate knew she often sat at her desk when she felt confused. It seemed to comfort her to sort through the cubicles and drawers. He didn’t know what she was looking for, she didn’t seem to either. But daily, she carefully took everything out, sorted through it and put it back in place.
He had asked if he could help her find something. She would smile sadly as if lost in an old memory and say, “No, it’s just keeping a secret from me,” and go back to sorting through a stack of papers.
Alzheimer’s disease had robbed her of many of her skills and precious memories. He had watched the roles reverse over the last five years to the point where he was doing all the household chores and meal preparation. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could care for her on his own in their cottage.