My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

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Songs of My Mother

Que sera, sera was one of my mother's favorite songs; she sang it all the time while I was growing up. That's how I want to remember her, alive and singing the songs she loved.




She passed away on a Sunday, April 13th, 2012. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease over a dozen years earlier, she really left us long before that. It's painful to think back on how confused she was, not just at the very end, but in those last years when her memories, her life, and its details faded as if they'd been written in disappearing ink. 


While the image of her looking lost and bewildered as her identity slipped away still haunts me, I'm pleased my eternally singing mother is so present in my writing. When I wrote the piece, Of Brasso and Brownies, about growing up in Niagara Falls in the sixties I thought it was about me but, reading it again, I can see my mother, alive and vital, loving and proud, played as big a role in my story as I did. 


Of Brasso and Brownies is #9 in my On the Street Where I Live stories.


Hello Mum, Are you there? It's me, Sim

But She's Not There


Miss Mouse Goes to Work My mother got me my first job.


Where Nobody Knows Your Name What Still Alice meant to me


A bit of a Ditz My biggest fear? That I'll have Alzheimer's disease too.


A Clippie on a double-decker bus


My Mother’s Voice



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