Overlooking Galway Bay, Ireland

August 14, 1998

I moved back home from Belfast to Galway to take care of my mother when it was clear that her Alzheimer’s disease was worsening. Many years before there’d been slight changes in her memory and reasoning, but she was able to function in the world without anyone noticing. Except me. Later she ended phone conversations abruptly so that the growing fault lines in her verbal and mental ability wouldn’t show. Now, on a warm August night, as we sat together in her kitchen, she looked out across Galway Bay, and believed herself to be in America.

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