As you know, if you have read the Note From The Author following each book of the Rose of Petrichoria series, my first novels were inspired by my wonderful mother. She suffered from Vascular Dementia for the last 10 1/2 years of her life. Though she lived with a caregiver, I took care of her as best I could in every other way, including weekly visits, sleepovers (until the last year), her finances, and other legal matters.
At first, she had near-blindness and short-term memory, but at the end, she no longer had her sight or long-term memory either. As her dementia progressed, she had a stage where she was unknowingly inventing memories and telling them alongside her true memories as if they were fact. If you hadn’t known her a long time, and subsequently had heard each of her stories a million million times, you would never know.
People around her didn’t really know how to respond. Most faded into obscurity. Some called and asked after her once or twice a year. Few interacted with her often and witnessed her decline.
Forgotten was written when my brain was trying to wrap around her experience. What would it be like to believe all these things happened, only to be told they never did? What would it be like for someone to tell you they know you well, when you don’t recognize their face? What if you couldn’t remember anything about your life and had only the people around you to guide you through? How would you react to their fear? Their anger? Their sadness? Their apparent moving on with life?
On November 27, 2017, my mother, Judith LeFebvre Gosvener, was called Home. Although I’m mourning, I know she is waiting for me to rejoin her one day. She is no longer with us in presence. She is no longer suffering. She remembers everything.