…”That’s what I’m here for”


“Can you come here for a minute?” Miss Cathy called out the familiar refrain.

I’ve heard that phrase as a preface to many a request in the last three years.

“Can you help me hook my bra, I can’t seem to get it on.” (Which usually means it was on backwards, inside out or both and is followed with a litany of expletives of how much she’s always hated being ‘busty’)

“What day is it?” (She asks this almost daily now, which is understandable for someone (anyone really) who doesn’t have a job, deadlines or have to rely on a schedule or clock any longer. But what I find troubling is that there are days when it’s after dark and she can’t distinguish whether it’s day or night)

“How much is four times twenty?” (This usually happens when she’s trying to count money)

“I can’t find a can of soup in the pantry, can you look and see if we have any.” (The pantry is stocked full of canned, paper and other goods that she can never seem to ‘find’)

“This TV is messed up again, I can’t get it to work right.” (This usually means that she’s pushed the wrong button or any number of random buttons on the remote causing the TV to either shut off, switch to DVD, Video mode or have to reboot itself after so much activity)

“Did I take my medicine? Is it time for me to take my medicine?” (Since I’m in charge of dispensing her meds I can usually remember if she has and if not, looking at the weekly pill dispenser easily solves the problem)

“Can you dial (insert the relative or friend’s name here) for me?” (Unfortunately she lost the ability to remember telephone numbers she’s known by heart for decades along with the loss of her short-term memory)

And so on and so forth, that’s just a sampling of what she asks and what she needs, not all at the same time and not everyday (Thank God) but so goes the dialogue and familiar ways and days of living with Miss Cathy.

“Can you come here for a minute?” she’ll ask.

“Of course”, I reply, “that’s what I’m here for.”

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