Me and RBG

“I have something for you.”

Mom often has things for me. Receipts from the dollar store. Magazine renewal notices. Donation requests. Generally, things I recycle as soon as I get home.

We walked into her bedroom. “I got this for you.”

It was an objectively ugly representation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a keychain. Part of the “string doll gang” – her face was made of string wrapped around and around and around a ball. She had a tag attached that said, “Women belong in all the places where decisions are being made.”


Then I noticed two other keychains. One a “Dharma Queen” and one a fluffy white puppy. “Who are these for, Mom?”

“Oh. The dog is for Ashley and the other one is for Anne.”

I stood there, dumbfounded.

Somehow she had picked the exact correct keychain for each of us. My sister, a dog lover, and Anne, a hippie at heart.

“Mom, did you pick these out on your own?”


“I love it. Thank you.”

And with this gift, I realized she still knows the essence of each of us. I could barely keep from crying. Weekly, I’ll sit on her couch with her and she’ll turn to me and say, “Do I have any children?” I nod my head and say, “You do.” “How many children do I have?” “You have three. You have a son, Greg, who lives in Winston-Salem, a daughter, Lori, who lives here in Asheville, and a daughter, Ashley, who lives outside of Atlanta.” “Are they big children or little children?” “They’re pretty big.” She’ll nod her head and stare into space. And a little part of me dies inside.

And today, I realized that she might not remember I’m her daughter, but she knows who I am.

10 thoughts on “Me and RBG

  1. Heartbreaking and heartwarming, Lori. Thanks for sharing this -it’s helpful for so many dealing with the same love (and loss) as our parents suffer with this disease.

  2. With every entry, I experience a full range of emotions—you leave me smiling, laughing, crying, heartbroken, hopeful and always grateful to call you friend. Love you Lori ❤️

  3. I am so sorry for the loss of your parents –your Dad through death and your Mom through dementia . I can feel your grief and your love in the beautiful pieces you post. I have lost my entire nuclear family (mom, dad, and only sister) to pneumonia, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer in the past 15 years. Some days it feels as if they were all killed in a plane crash. I’m glad you have siblings and hope you feel close to them. Your hopeful spirit in even the worst of times gives me courage. Thank you!

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