Something’s lost and something’s gained in living every day


People ask me all the time if J still knows me and the kids.  How can I answer that question?  She certainly recognizes that I’m someone in her life when I go visit her.  Even someone very important.  Does she still know my name?  What does she remember about our 30-plus year history?  Who knows?

I have a few cues.  She was recently unable to identify her mother in a photograph she has had for years.  She denies she has ever been to San Diego, even though I took her there for her birthday in November 2015.  She will deny the trip ever happened while wearing her San Diego Zoo hoodie.  Such are the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease.

One person she has not forgotten, however, is Hillary Clinton.  Like HRC, J went to Wellesley College, arriving there the fall after Hillary graduated.  J has followed her career with interest.  Last month, I bought her a Hillary t-shirt.  I haven’t seen her wear it much, but the last time I visited, instead of saying Hillary’s name, she got out the shirt and said, “She’s going to do it!”  Then she managed to communicate that one of her friends at the continuing care retirement community where she lives has a Hillary bumper sticker on her walker.  This really tickled J.

And it is of great comfort to me that J is still engaged in the world, at her own speed and in her own way.

One thought on “Something’s lost and something’s gained in living every day”

  1. Wow. Thank you, again. Sue

    Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse errors and typos! Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell

    Have you read our award winning book? Chapters of the Heart: Jewish Women Sharing the Torah of our Lives (Cascade, 2013) http//



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