Cheryl and I road over to Greenville, South Carolina today, actually Fountain Inn, to visit her mother. On the way we stopped and had lunch with her sister, Glenda, and her daughter, April, April’s husband, Rocky, and their son, Zachery. Cheryl’s other sister, Ruth, joined us at the nursing home. Thelma is deteriorating in mental clarity, but she recognized me and Cheryl. She referred to my last visit when I had come alone. It seems that visit troubled her. When Cheryl returned from New York and drove over to visit her mother without me, Thelma kept asking her if we were still together.
Today, she looked into my face and asked, “I don’t believe in divorce; do you?” I replied a simple “No, Thelma, I don’t believe in divorce.” She continued, “Good, my children don’t get a divorce.” That’s a revision of history, but an assertion of her heart’s desire.
Before we left I hugged her neck and she whispered, “I love you.” As I stood she continued, “If I hadn’t loved you, you wouldn’t have married Cheryl.” Perhaps another revision of history, but arguing with Thelma was impossible before dementia and futile at this point. Let’s just all agree she loved me from the start. It’s better that way. It leaves her in control and affirms the great undeniable truth that nobody caneverybody loves Jackie Johns.
July 9, 2010