Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Bear in the Yard

A long time ago, when my second wife and I used to run an adult foster care home, one of the old ladies imagined that a bear could often be seen in the yard. Or in any case, she herself often saw the bear.

That bear is in the yard again, she would say.

Well, my mom, who eventually moved in as well when her condition with Alzheimers worsened, believed in this bear just as firmly, although she had never actually seen it.  She simply took the other old woman's word for it - and from that time on, she would not let her poor little poodle dog go outside without an escort. 'Where's Teddy!' she would exclaim in panic. "Is Teddy in the yard with that bear?"

"No, Mom. Teddy is right here," I would reassure. "Teddy's right under your chair."

"Oh, thank God. I just don't know why you keep a bear in your yard, Preston."

She called me Preston, you see. Preston was the name of her brother.

For a long time I tried to convince her of her mistake, but I finally gave up and simply became Preston for the sake of convenience.

What's in a name, anyway?

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