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  • Writer's pictureJaime Pollard-Smith

Fresh Ink

I took Mom to her final cognitive evaluation on June 4, 2015. After a certain point in the progression of the disease, it became pointless to continue failing tests. She didn't know the president, the year, the month, the day, or her own last name. Every question came with a blank stare. I wanted to grab her and run away from those annoying doctors. Do we really need to go over this? She can't remember!

As the test came to a close, the doctor asked Mom if she could write a noun. She grabbed the pencil and in her trademark, fancy handwriting penned the word "noun" onto the page. I remember laughing in pure relief. "That's funny, Mom!"

The doctor then asked if she could write a specific noun. Mom glanced up at me. Our eyes met. She still knew I was someone important to her, but she had not spoken my name in months—maybe even years. Her hand was shaking as she meticulously spelled out "Jaime" on the page.

She remembered my name.

I asked the doctor if I could keep that piece of paper. It was the last time she ever wrote my name.

This week I had that memory etched into my skin. Mom's words will stay on my foot and in my heart for the rest of my days. #endalz

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