This photo was one of many taken on a trip to Bayfield in September 2010. I like it very much but, at the same time as it soothes me, it reminds me of a sad time.
Almost seven years ago, seven of Mom’s eight children went to her home in Vanastra for the last weekend visit, and packed up her belongings. Her house and car would be sold and she would move to a new residence. Her dementia had advanced to the stage that we felt she was not safe alone.
On this particular day almost seven years ago, we walked along the beach and enjoyed the view and the fresh breeze. It was actually quite nippy, and I remember I gave Mom my yellow hooded jacket to wear over hers. She had turned into a rather “skinny little Minnie” in the few months since her partner had died, and she was cold. She was in no hurry to leave, though, perhaps because she too, felt it was soothing in a way.
She had been troubled seeing so many of her “things” going out of her home to end up who-knew-where! We had to tell little white lies and say that her kids were going to be taking them home and using them. She wanted to be sure they were not going in the garbage. It was heart-breaking to see and feel her turmoil. Items that she had collected, but hadn’t seen for many years were suddenly very, very important to her.
At the beach, some of us collected seashells and driftwood, and others collected photos of the same. One brave soul even went in for a swim. We all tried to cheer Mom up with small talk and hugs. She was alone and lonely; sad and scared; and probably in the throes of a depression. None of those feelings were helped by her advancing dementia.
In spite of all this, I sent this “Mom-day card” today. And just in case she does recall the time, I balanced the possible sadness with a reminder of how she had gobbled up a huge ice cream cone before we went home.