I brought Dad over to our house on Sunday afternoon to help with a backyard project. We added mulch to some flower beds to help conserve water. Dad likes being around my husband and my sons, and he likes being helpful.

On the way home, I thanked him. “I think it’s a big improvement, Dad.”

“Jawohl,” he said. “Das ist sehr gut.”

German? He answered me in German?!

Dad only knew a few sentences in German from his high school days.

Not a bad day, I thought.

But as we pulled up to his Board & Care, he was very confused. He had no recollection of the house and didn’t understand why he was there, or why I was leaving.

Fortunately, his resident-friend John walked out with the caregiver and greeted Dad like he was seeing Lazarus raised from the death. Connecting with faces seems to satisfy Dad.

As I drove home, I thought about the mystery of the human brain.

A German phrase remained, but Dad couldn’t remember where he had lunch…the same place he has lived for over a year.

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