I feel like I need to explain my sudden disappearance over the past couple of weeks.

In a few days time, my mother will have been in hospital for a month and there is no indication of her being discharged any time soon. Based on some of the tests and observations that have been made; she shows signs of a prior stroke, vascular disease and the onset of dementia.

When I left Scotland for the States eleven years ago I knew someday something like this could be a possibility. But a possibility and an actuality are different things and now that day has arrived, I find myself struggling to make sense of the situation and my feelings about it.

It’s the dementia that makes things the hardest. When we visited a few months ago, she was capable of holding a conversation, reciting family history as we went through old photographs and as insistent as she ever was about doing things for herself. But when I was there last week, I watched her struggle to form words and although she was often able to recognize me, I find myself wondering if that was always the case.

This is one of my own worst fears. My mind, crammed with nonsense as it is, has always been the thing I could be proud of. To feel like I could no longer rely on it, to be trapped inside with no means of expression, I can hardly think of anything worse.

Anyway, that’s why I disappeared and why I’m still so distracted.

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