I was in New Jersey last month to visit my family. My dad asked me to come in early April because my mom’s health has been deteriorating. This is partly why I haven’t blogged in weeks or spent much time on Instagram. As some of you may know from reading previous posts (Alzheimer’s clothing – sewing patterns for women or My mom’s last sewing machine), my mother has dementia.
She taught me and my sisters how to use her sewing machine and made most of our clothes when we were young girls.
While I was there, my two younger sisters and I spent an afternoon going through boxes of photos and photo albums, looking for photos of my mom. They will be part of an eventual slide show for her funeral. I know that sounds rather morbid but it was better that we share this responsibility in advance rather than doing it at the last minute. We enjoyed going through the many photos and finding images that we hadn’t seen in decades or had never seen before.
I found this photo in a small box. My dad said it was taken before they married, sometime in the early 1960s.
The box had a few other black-and-white photos that I had never seen before, like this one with her beehive hairdo.
I’m not sure where this photo was taken but I like her style.
I also discovered this grade school photo of me. There wasn’t a date on it but I think I was likely in second or third grade. I’m wearing a top my mom made.
My mom today
My mother is now in a wheelchair, living in a nursing home, and really can’t eat solid foods. As a result, she’s lost a significant amount of weight, which was hard to see. She still recognized me and actually responded when I asked her if she was tired. “Extremely” was her response. I’m really glad I was able to visit.
This is a photo of her hand in mine during a visit to her nursing home.
My parents have been married for more than 50 years. They had never lived apart until my mom had to move into a nursing home about a year and a half ago when she began to have trouble walking and it was too difficult for my dad to care for her at home.
If your parents are still alive, take time to talk to them – especiallly while they can still respond to you and can remember events that occurred in the past. If you have any questions about their childhood or your own, ask them now. Life is precious and you never know what will happen.