I haven't seen her since early October, right after I dyed my hair black. Despite the package claiming that the hair dye was semi-permanent, the color hasn't faded much. I'm no longer Snow White, but I could very well be a younger version of herself, at least as far as my hair is concerned. With me being out of sight and out of mind, will Mom remember that I died my hair? Or will she, when I walk through the door, be just as surprised as the last time I saw her?
I wonder this as I pack my bags. I wonder it as I load the car. I wonder as I climb into the driver's seat. I also wonder, what do I hope to happen? If she's forgotten about my hair, it simply reaffirms the fact that she has Alzheimer's disease. And if she remembers? What does that do? Does it give me hope that the deterioration of her brain has slowed? Or does it simply mean that she's gotten lucky, and one random, nonessential piece of information managed to find it's way into her memory and hold on for two months?
Because isn't that always how it goes? We try and try to remember all the important things in our lives--names, dates, faces, experiences--to no avail, and then something comes along that means nothing of importance, and it lodges itself in our brains.
I suspect she won't remember that my hair is dark, and that's okay. We have more important things to do than to dwell on something so trivial--playing with the grandchildren, decorating the Christmas tree, sitting around the dinner table as a full family. If we're really lucky, maybe one of those moments will reach out, grab on, and not let go.