Thursday, March 26, 2015

Open House at My Mom's

The Alzheimer's unit of the nursing home where my mother has lived for the past six months had an open house yesterday morning; and, since it was a Wednesday which is Jeff's normal day off, he got to go along with us when we went to visit her.  It was a wonderful morning!
There were little doughnut holes to eat.
There were new friends to make... Nina, whom we have seen before but whose name I didn't know until yesterday.  She was quite taken with Moriah, especially her strawberry dress which reminded Nina of the strawberry patch her family had when she was a little girl (she told me that several times--to be expected in an Alzheimer's unit).  ;-)
There was the staff of the nursing home to greet and thank.
There was coffee (for Jeff, although Josiah asked for some!) and special hot chocolate (for the boys) to drink.
There were festive decorations, like these balloons near Shav as he helped himself--again--to the doughnuts.  :)
There were framed pictures scattered about of the residents, including this one of my mother and Lola, a resident she has become particularly close to, and another resident whose name I don't know.
And best of all, there was my family.
All of them...
...gathered together in one spot... Grandma's.
My mother's brain continues to deteriorate, her memories and abilities slip away...
...but her love remains true and strong, and that is a gift.
The most special picture in the room...
...sits on the piano that my mother has spent HOURS playing.  The picture shows not only her, but also my dad who gets a gold medal for how faithful and attentive he continues to be.  He has traveled the road to Bridgewater nearly every day since she moved there, and he continues to be a stabilizing, reassuring, loving presence in her life.  I'm so very grateful for him.
As we were driving away, Jeff summed up our visit in words to this effect:  "I can't think of a better place for your mom to be at this stage in her life."  Though it still hurts my heart to think of her even needing to be in a care facility like this, I know he's absolutely right.  She is surrounded with safety and beauty and peace and kindness...with people who understand her and don't try to make her something she is not.
And yesterday, she was surrounded, literally, by her family who loves her so very much.

Nothing will ever change that love.


Emily said...

Amazing family picture!!

sally said...

Your mom looks so happy in these pictures! She doesn't have that blank, empty look on her face that is sometimes characteristic of Alzheimer's patients.

I loved the fact that you can call this being at "Grandma's"! What a big step!

Valerie said...

Oh my word, I cried.
Your mother is beautiful. Her memory might be fading but she radiates joy. The love story between her and your Dad is inspiring.
And to top it all off I look at these pictures and see Josiah turning into quite the young man.


sigh. It goes by so quickly.

What a blessing though to spend time together as an entire family. <3