I keep things simple. My mantra: Eat when you're hungry; sleep when you're tired; let's take a walk. Every day she has vanilla ice-cream; a piece of dark chocolate; a glass of red wine.


My mom liked David Letterman. For the last six months his show was on, she rarely made it to 10:30 p.m., when he aired in Chicago. One night she told me that she had forgotten how to get to David Letterman's. She said she used to go there all the time and now she didn't remember how to get to the street where he lived.

I told her she could find him with the remote control, from the comfort of her bed. I would help her.

She was relieved.

We laugh a lot. She knows she has a problem. When she's fully aware, which is often enough, she can't believe the stories I tell her about things she's said and done. It's like there are two people: the Maggie that was always there, and the one that's slipping away.