I pulled out one of her drawers to begin organizing. Menial tasks can have such gospel implication when done through the law of love. After I separated the pens in the junk drawer, I opened her day planner from 2017. She could still write then. Her handwriting, a memento I never thought I’d treasure.

Slowly I turned the pages, absorbing the complexity of her pencil and the quirkiness of my mom. She wrote down everything, although she was never truly organized and always late to appointments. She could still drive to appointments in 2017.

Close to five years ago, we recognized the changes. We didn’t make much of them. Instead, we whispered here and there about how mom acted differently. Then one day, she couldn’t find her balance after getting up from her chair. Then, she fell because the dizziness wouldn’t leave her alone.  Her conversations changed and she would say comments completely out of context. We were perplexed.

Three years ago, my mom was diagnosed with Corticobasal Syndrome. That weekend it was hard for me to sing, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” during church. It’s a cruel disease – a rare disease – a neurodegenerative disease with absolutely no cure. The disorder affects 5 people per 100,000. So the question remained, why was my mom one of the five?

The cruelty is revealed in the mind. She knows she’s dying because often she’ll apologize for the way she acts. She recently told me to make sure I take care of my brother after she’s gone. She asked that I tell his future spouse to make him lasagna and Nana’s chocolate cake for his birthday, as she did every year. Recently, she turned to look at me in the car and asked if it was all a bad dream.

If only. (Read more here).