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She may have forgotten what ravioli were; she could no longer write beautiful notes as she once had; she couldn’t concentrate enough to read or even watch TV.  She talked about two husbands when she only ever had one and she sometimes thought she still had a baby.

Yet, says Lisa Meritz in this essay about her mother, the senile old lady remembered the things that were most important to her. What were they?

To find out, you’ll have to read the original piece, “Selective Memory,” in Philadelphia Stories. I’ve been telling people this story for the past week, and if I’m getting that much conversational benefit from it, I ought to direct people to the author’s original. It’s worth reading, I guarantee.