Dis Ekke

My vreugdes en frustrasies

WPChallenge

WPC Delta: Life

My mother at age 95, hugging a cushion, a gift from my daughter

My mother at age 95, hugging a cushion, a gift from my daughter

Rarely a day goes by that I don’t think about my mother and she often visits me in my dreams. The strange thing is this: I always remember or dream about her the way she used to be, how she reacted and what she looked like when I was growing up. In my mind’s eye, I always see the vivacious, attractive, intelligent woman and the strict but loving mother.

Only when I page through the pictures taken during the latter years before she passed away at the age of ninety-six, do I remember the small withered little figure that she became. I also remember her outrageous sense of humor, the jokes we shared and the gossipy tales we exchanged.

The old age home where she lived the last five years of her life, launched a new program for their Alzheimer patients. We were asked to contribute soft toys, jigsaw puzzles, music and, above all, time to spend with our family members resident in the home.

My daughter’s contribution was cushions and aprons made of a durable denim which she decorated with various types of textured fabrics, securely attached buttons, beads, zippers and ribbons to provide mental stimulation and finger exercises. My mother was then still able to knit and we encouraged her to participate in the project by knitting squares in bright colors, which were also sewed onto the cushions. In the few pictures that I selected and published below, you can see two of these in bright yellow and pink.

 

Toward the end of the project, she still knitted the squares but refused to hand them over, as she loved to display the lovely colors on her dresser, and she started grumbling because the other residents were playing with “her” cushions. My daughter then made her a cushion of her very own, with her name embroidered on it, as a Christmas gift.

At this time we realized that she has started to suffer from severe memory loss to such an extent that she no longer recognized family or friends and her thinking abilities became so impaired that it interfered with her daily functioning in life. This change, from mother and mainstay in our family life to a frail dependent, was a difficult transition for all of us. It is for this reason, I think, that I subconsciously prefer to remember her the way she used to be. Before.

WPC Delta

Assignment: “For this week’s photo challenge, share a picture that symbolizes transitions, change, and the passing of time”.

 

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28 Comments

  1. What a wonderful woman she was! And cushions are great too! 🙂

  2. Pragtige inskrywing

  3. Mom is the best thing happen in life. Thanks for sharing this, Hester. It reminds me of my late mom too.. Beautiful stories..

  4. A lovely warm sensitive post 🙂 We’ve noticed my father’s beginning to fail and several friends have commented on something you touched on. My father isn’t a great hobby man, he doesn’t garden or is useful with his hands etc and we think not stimulating his mind with activities such as your mum did has contributed, and the wealth of research out there says that we should all keep active and stretch our minds. 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment Andrew. I think when they start losing interest in everything it also be a sign of depression because surely the person must, on some level, be aware of his decline, especially in the early stages.

      • Yes Hester, long story cut short he gave up his loved school teaching lesson due to depression and then well you know. I think a positive outlook and human interaction are vitally important and something to keep an eye on………………….the human mammal is a social animal and not a loner 🙂

  5. A touching tribute to your Mom. I frequently wish I could still pick up the phone or write to mine. Our memories of our mothers are gifts to be treasured.

  6. Ek dink dit is wonderlik dat jy haar onthou in haar jonger dae, Hester. Ek sukkel nog met daai een. My moeks se laaste paar jaar was so vol trauma, dat ek wegskram van onthou. So as die gedagtes die dag wel opdaag, raak ek intens hartseer oor haar. Ek hoop dat dit mettertyd beter sal raak. Jy het so mooi oor jou ma geskryf.

    • Ek vind dat, soos die tyd aanstap, onthou ek meer en meer die goeie en lekker tyde wat ons saam gehad het. Ons verhouding het die grootste deel van ons lewens maar wankelmoedig verloop, maar ek is bly dat die band behoue gebly het.

  7. My ma het gesterf aan hartversaking op 73 so sy was nog op en wakker wat die brein aanbetref. Dit was vir ons almal ‘n skok want niemand het dit toe al verwag nie. My dogter het gimnastiek gaan doen op Oudtshoorn (waar my ouers gebly het) 2 weke voordat sy oorlede is. Vir die geleentheid het ek ‘n videokamera gekoop en danksy die gimnastiek het ek nou kosbare videos van my ma.

    • Dis goed, want ‘n mens dink jy sal altyd ‘n persoon se voorkoms of sêgoed onthou, maar selfs die kosbaarste herinneringe vervaag ook met tyd.

  8. Hester, hierdie is die mooiste skrywe en dat jy haar onthou soos toe sy nog die formidable vrou was wat sy was voor Alzheimer haar bekruip, is fantasties.
    Dit is genade dat ons Vader haar so kom laat besoek aflê in jou drome.
    Ek is absoluut in vervoering gewees met hierdie blog van jou, asook die kosbare handewerk!
    Ek kan nou sien waar jy vandaan kom, en dit was nou baie lekker vir my.

  9. I can only imagine this would have been a difficult transition for your whole family.

  10. Dis ‘n pragtige herinnering aan jou ma! Mens sal maar altyd met heimwee terug dink aan ons mammas!

  11. Je beschrijft het mooi en lieflijk.

    Het zal voor jullie allemaal een moeilijke tijd geweest zijn.

    Meelevende groet,

    • Dankie Rob, dit was nie maklik nie, veral omdat ‘n mens begin wonder hoe en op watter ouderdom dieselfde aftakeling jou ook gaan tref. Jammer ek antwoord nou eers, maar jou kommentaar het in my spambox beland en ek is nou eers besig om skoon te maak. Vriendelike groete.

  12. Beautiful creations and lovely story. It is very difficult to witness our parent’s decline. My mother was just shy of 92 when she passed. All she did in the last several years was sit in her chair as her feet and legs failed her – down she went on several occasions. So glad that your Mom returns to you in her dreams as the strong individual she truly was. Wonderful memories carry with us for life. Hugs!!

    • Thank you 🙂 I was lucky to have her in my life for so many years. It is this time of the year that I miss her most, but I don’t have to tell you that – I’m sure you feel the same. *returning the hug*

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