Friday, July 15, 2016

The Look on My Mother's Face

Because Josiah's music composition lessons were held in Bridgewater, we've been making a lot of trips there this week and have been spending extra time there while we wait for his lessons to finish each day.  It's such a lovely town that it hasn't been hard to find pleasant diversions to while away the time. 

 Monday, as pictured in this post, we went to a park there after we dropped Josiah off; but finding it too hot to be much fun, we ended up at DQ.  :)  Tuesday, we used some coupons we got through our library's summer reading program (just like we had done at DQ the day before) and ate a fun, leisurely lunch at McDonald's.  Wednesday, we first went to a farm stand and got corn on the cob and watermelon for our supper, and then went to a different park (the same one we went to for Mother's Day this past May) and had a great time there.  We even got rained on a little bit while the children played on the playground and I sat on a bench and nursed Benjamin, but the rain was gentle and helped to cool the air.  And then we went across the swinging bridge and saw turtles and watched ducks and reluctantly pulled ourselves away to go get Josiah.  :)  There was no composition lesson on Thursday, because of our get-away to the lake, and then came today--the final class.

All week long, as I've driven to Bridgewater, I've thought of my mother in the nursing home; and all week long, I've wanted to visit her but have stayed away because of a cold I caught suddenly on Sunday afternoon.  I am always very cautious about being around her when we are sick because I would hate to pass germs along to her, but I asked Dad today what he thought about me going to see Mom, and he said it would be a great thing to do, and that he didn't think my germs would be a problem.  I was so glad!

As we drove the familiar back roads, I handed Josiah my phone and he snagged this picture.  Typical Shenandoah Valley scenery: a horse and buggy, fields of tall corn, and Mole Hill, that beloved landmark, standing in the background.
Today we dropped Josiah and David off at class (because David was excited to get to sing a couple of the parts of the piece Josiah was arranging), and the rest of us headed for Bridgewater Home.  When we got to the Alzheimer's unit and were admitted through the secure door by one of the friendly candy-stripers, I quickly looked around for my mother and spotted her at one of the tables in the main part of the Gardner wing.  And then, the most beautiful thing happened.

Mother saw us, and her face LIT UP.  

I wish you could have seen it.  I wish I had been taking a video; but even that wouldn't have fully captured the joy on her face.  IT WAS SO PRECIOUS.

I'm not sure if she could have named me or any of the kids or identified the nature of our relationship, but SHE KNEW WE WERE HERS, and she was so very happy to see us.  It was like turning on a lightbulb.  Such a sweet moment that I treasure deep in my heart!

She kind of rose up out of her seat as we approached, and together we walked out onto the porch/patio area to enjoy the lovely day.  I had suggested to the kids that they bring sidewalk chalk, and I asked one of the workers if it was OK if they drew out there.  Sure enough, the answer was yes; it was the first time we did that, but it was a very pleasant activity for the kids to do, and my mom and I enjoyed walking around and seeing what they had drawn.  We also enjoyed sitting in the rocking chairs.  :)

Sometimes I feel sad that these younger children won't remember their grandma as the talented, smart, capable woman that I remember her being.
 But then I give thanks that at least they still have the chance to see her and talk with her and hug her and know her as the sweet, happy, kind, grateful, loving woman that she still is!!
While we were sitting there, at one point my mother said in her halting way, "I am so glad we live here in this area!"  Her gratitude about living in this part of the world is a strong theme in the conversations we have at this point in her life!

 Benjamin was vocal at this point, and it was fun to see him sitting here having a "conversation" with his grandma.  :)

We were joined by another of our favorite residents, Anne, who is always so friendly to us and who told us, as she handed me a bag of red, white, and blue M&Ms for me to divide among the children, that yesterday was her birthday.  We love her!  :)  Incidentally, I gave Mother some of the M&Ms, and she commented on how good they were.  She always has loved M&Ms.  :)

I didn't take any pictures inside, but we did get to see Lola, another of our favorites.  She had had some significant health problems recently, and we were concerned about her, but she was up and walking (with a walker) today, and that was very good to see.  She was, of course, delighted to see the children; and as Benjamin reached out to her, it was obvious that she was eating up the pleasure of the touch of a little baby.  We love her, too.  :)

All too soon, the time sped away, and we needed to leave to pick up Josiah and David.  We said our goodbyes, and I told Mother I would see her in two days.  Of course she won't remember that, and perhaps not even remember that we were there today.

But I will remember.  And when I do, I will again see her beautiful face with that glorious smile spreading all over it when she saw us.


Carol Slater said...

Praise God that she knew you were hers! It's such a hard thing dealing with a parent that doesn't know who you are. I can't imagine what they feel like waking each day not knowing who is around them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Davene! Just wanted to thank you for posting about your delightful visit to see your Mom! How sweet it is that she greeted you guys with a big smile of recognition knowing she belonged to you all! Keep giving her hugs Davene! Bill and I continue to keep you all in our hearts & prayers . . . esp, your Mom!! I love her & your Dad so much!!
Betty Kimble

Valerie said...

I teared up! I LOVE that she knew you were hers. :) What a special moment!