My mother, carefully and kindly guided by her granddaughter, just bought me a birthday present. It was in a pretty bag, but after awhile, the presence of the bag on the coffee table began to bother her, and she kept asking, whose is it? And every time I’d tell her, it’s mine; it’s a present you gave me. Finally I moved it out of her sight.
But not soon enough. When I got home and emptied the bag, in addition to my present, there was a one of the dog’s toys and a chew.
It made me laugh. Just as finding a soft, single house slipper in a bedside drawer made me laugh. Just as trying to close a wipes box and discovering why it was impossible–her lipstick case buried under the sheets of wipes–made me laugh.
All of her important papers, identification, insurance, etc. are kept in a basket above the refridgerater, and when my brother had to have the identification, he couldn’t find it to save his life. So the next time I visited, I went through her bedroom, and in that bedside drawer, there it was. At some point, she’d gotten down the basket and taken it. After all, it was hers.