Forgetful? — no — not me!

By Grace McCoag in People

“Forgetfulness.”—I’d rather call it “Sometimers.” I keep telling myself that I’m too young but my bones tell me otherwise some mornings when I arise from my bed.
Anyway, on one of our many forays up to our summer home in Wiarton, as we call it, I noticed, as I opened the door to our apartment building, that the laundry room door on the bottom floor, had been left open. My eyes caught the sight of a white laundry basket full of clothes. I couldn’t make out the kind of laundry it held but I remember thinking, “I have never noticed any of the other apartment dwellers with a white basket.” I guessed that they were staking out their territory so as to be next in line, so I promptly dismissed it from my mind.
We were just going to be up in Wiarton for a few days so I reasoned that I wouldn’t have time to do any laundry. We returned to our southern home in Palmerston on schedule and one week later again headed north. This time we had a full laundry basket but I found no time to do the washing.
Again, history repeated itself. When we came up for the third time I happened to be watching a morning TV programme showing children how to fold clothes—tea towels—pillow cases—bed sheets—even those difficult bottom sheets with elastic edges—BED SHEETS! Something in my chest gave a thump. I did change the bedding last week—didn’t I? I checked my linen closet to be sure. There was, indeed, a set of sheets missing.
It was at that moment that the awful fact hit me. I had a white clothes basket. That basket, left in the laundry room had to be mine! Dare I tell Royden? Maybe I should go down, secretly, to retrieve my bed sheets.
I waited until dark and I could hear no movement in the hallway. I crept furtively down into the bowels of the apartment building and, after searching the dark and eerie corners to make sure I was alone, I grabbed the laundry basket close to my breast and made my get-away, unseen. Quietly, I climbed the two stories with my burden and gave a great sigh of relief when I finally scurried through the door into the safety of our apartment.
Great! Maybe Royden would never find out and hold this little memory lapse over my head for the rest of my life.—that is, until he reads this!!
I have kept a diary since the days when I was going through chemo treatments seven years ago. Health experts told me it would help me cope with my illness and as I had just lost Doug a short month before my diagnosis I found it very helpful to put my thoughts down on paper. I have a record of important events in my life, like when I do the laundry, going back for years. I checked. I had last done a washing on—and there it was—July tenth, in the morning.
Ah, now I remembered thinking I could change the bed, wash the sheets and dry them after lunch, but we ended up visiting someone on the spur of the moment and decided to head out for Palmerston, immediately. We did go back to the Wiarton apartment but we packed our bags quickly and off we went—neglecting the laundry completely. Someone must have taken my sheets from the washing machine and put them into the dryer and later returned and folded them into my clothes basket. Who should I thank? If I approached the wrong person it might be hard to explain. Maybe the whole apartment complex is already laughing about my forgetfulness.
Dementia? Now, let us not be too hasty in judgement. That washing was only there from—let’s see—July 10th to July 26th. Sometimes we all have brief lapses of memory, don’t we?
Oh dear, I’ll never live it down!