One day Julia forgot to pick up one of her children at kindergarten. Five-year-old Julie, done up in coat and hat, had sat waiting and waiting for her mother by the school door, but her mother never appeared. Julia's lapses were becoming more pronounced. Despite having instilled in her children that a penny was gold, she began losing her husband's paychecks before depositing them. Out grocery shopping one afternoon, she failed to return home to cook dinner, and when she did return, she couldn't remember where she'd been. In the mornings she had trouble assembling the coffeemaker, something she'd done thousands of times. When she went to set the table, she'd open drawer after drawer before finding the silverware. Even more worrisome, she began to neglect the younger children -- from diaper-changing to feeding. Once, without fail, she'd come into their rooms before bedtime to listen to their prayers. Now oftentimes she didn't. Her family didn't tease her anymore about her forgetfulness. What was happening to their mom? Where was her smile, her spunk, the optimism they'd always counted on? Why did she so easily grow sullen and slide into crying spells? Was she tired of them? Was it something they'd done? She gave no explanation.