Transcript of a page from Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me
Bird Brain 73
[Top left panel]
I couldn’t do the work I’d brought with me to Fredericton.
Tweet! Too-weet! Twee! Twee! Twee!
tap tap tap tap tap
[Top center panel]
Mom wouldn’t stop making these weird noises.
[Mother] Tuh-woo! Tuwit, tuwoo! Twoo!
[Top right panel]
Until all of a sudden she got very quiet.
[Second row left panel]
[Seconds row center panel]
I found her on the sun porch, pointing out the window and wiggling her finger. She likes to stand there and watch the birds at the feeder.
[Second row right panel]
[Mother] Aren’t they just so, so…
[Daughter] So what, Mom?
[No text on third row]
[Fourth row left panel]
Aren’t they just so what?
[Fourth row right panel]
She was pointing at the birds, but they’d flown away already. I knew that but I pretended to have no idea what she was trying to say. I was sick of trying to fill in the gaps in her speech. I was sick of helping her. I was sick of her being sick.
[Bottom row left panel]
She stared at me, her smile gone, her finger not wiggling anymore.
[Bottom row right panel]
Later, when the anger had evaporated, I as filled with guilt and then fear. I had a vision of myself as a child, trying to grasp her leg as she fluttered away to join the birds. I couldn’t hold her here on earth with me, no matter how hard I tried.
[Large panel on lower right]