Where Is She?

“She isn’t the sister I knew,” my husband says when he returns from driving his sister, Mary Ellen, home last Thursday after lunch.

I don’t know what to say. I understand his meaning but I still don’t know what to say.

This is the second sibling I have heard him make this comment about, the other a brother who died almost three years ago.

“As long as you can remember the good times, the days in Outlook, Mary Ellen seems to have good recall.” I tried to encourage him. In fact it had happened over lunch.

When Bob arrived to pick Mary Ellen up and bring her to our home, she asked her now routine question, “Have you been here before?”

And the answer is always yes as one of us visits weekly, if not more. Since her assisted living community is only eight blocks away, we often make it our daily walk to visit.

But her short-term memory has lost its bearings.

We visit for a time and then lunch is calling us. It is our first time to sit just the three of us around the table as Mary Ellen’s husband died a couple of months ago, and her move near us and a nephew is fairly new. We join hands for grace. Her skin has the feel of thin paper, and her hands are cold. It’s in the upper 80s outside.

We chat amiably while eating. Mary Ellen jokes about her memory being unreliable, and we commiserate with her that ours isn’t much better some days.

Bob thinks of an announcement he recently received from their grade school in Outlook, WA, a tiny space in the road in the Yakima Valley. He mentions the name of the woman who sent it and with whom he has talked. He asks Mary Ellen if she remembers this woman from their grade school days.

She looks up and furrows her brow and says she doesn’t, her now nearly gone eyesight trying to focus on him.

And then she says, “There was a Dorothy Ross in Outlook.”

Yes, this was the woman Bob was talking about but he had used her married name and couldn’t think of her maiden name.

That recalled memory is from decades ago, but our visits with Mary Ellen recently have only been in the last two months. She doesn’t remember us visiting or others calling or coming by.

We sit later that day talking about family and memories. Bob and I know with certainty that we too are growing older daily and our memories aren’t always as sharp as they used to be. We encourage our children to slow down, make treasured memories, memories that will last, and write them down for future generations to read and share on and on.

Otherwise, a family’s legacy can be lost in time and age.

Doris Lessing quote on legacy

Quote by Doris Lessing via Brainy Quote

What are you doing to keep your family’s legacy? Your faith journey? Your childhood memories? Don’t miss the opportunity to pass this history along to future generations.

Today I’m linking up with:

Kelli Woolford at Unforced Rhythms
Joan Davis at Sharing His Beauty

and on Wednesday with:

Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart
Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory

Encounters of the Best Kind

Today I’m sharing with you a post I wrote for my writing blog. I think when you read it you will see why I felt it proper to share my summer story with you.

Not to minimize fantastic vacation trips and summers experienced in the past, but this summer’s experiences have amazed me! I cannot resist sharing the almost extraterrestrial sense of time and place present during this season.

For some time I have interacted with two writers and one editor online. In fact, I would go so far to say we forged cyber-friendships never knowing what lay beyond emails and comments.

Like the three windows shown here, we cannot see what is on the other side of the window panes. We can only imagine.

Likewise, we could see a computer screen and send messages to one another. Beyond screens and words, we knew very little about each other. We had no way of knowing the authentic person on the other side of the screen.

Summer 2014 has changed all that, and it has been a rewarding and special time.

To read the rest of my amazing summer story, come along with me now.


Sherrey signature B on W



Linking up today with:

Kelli Woolford @ Unforced Rhythms
Joan @ Sharing His Beauty

on Wednesday with:

Holley Gerth @ Coffee for Your Heart
Jennifer Dukes Lee @ #TellHisStory