Faces of change

I had lunch with Mom today – an Alz center Valentine’s Day family event. She was very peppy and funny. We had pasta with red sauce, steamed vegetables, salad, a breadstick and red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. Mom also had ice cream. She ate everything but her salad – mostly using her hands. At one point, she said, “I’m a crazy lady.” She said lots of funny things, made funny faces and was having a good day. Which meant it was a good day for me, too. When we were done eating, she started reaching for food on the tray belonging to a woman resident sitting across from us. So we took a little walk and I settled her onto a couch, anticipating that she might need a nap. And I needed to return to work.

I took her picture, thinking it has been awhile. And she was full of smiles. Recently looking back at old posts, I came across a post from my first Valentine’s Day lunch with Mom in 2010. I took her picture that day, too, and it sticks in my memory. Mom looked pretty robust back then. She had gained weight, enjoying the Alz center’s large meals and steady stream of snacks. Her color was better. She was still interested in lipstick. Her hair was a mess, unfortunately, because I hadn’t set her up yet for regular appointments with the beautician. Her expression seemed a little timid. She wasn’t as sick then, and looking at the photo, I wonder if she wasn’t as content as I might have imagined she was.

Mom in 2010 - our first Valentine's Day lunch together at the Alz center. She looks sleepy, I think.

Mom today. I think she looks older than she did two years ago - more wrinkles, a little drawn - but also younger, with such a carefree smile.

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4 comments so far

  1. Laura on

    I guess she does look older, but so much happier! Nice contrast. What on earth is she wearing?

  2. momsbrain on

    Oh, that is a bib. They’re pretty much towels with loops that go around the residents’ necks. I probably should have taken the photo before putting on the bib, but that was when I had the best chance. It does look funny. But I love her face.

  3. Liz Palika on

    I’d hardly recognize her as the same woman! Amazing it’s only been two years. But I agree, she looks happier in the more recent photo.

  4. momsbrain on

    Liz – I know, it is striking in many ways. Of course for me, it is the same old Mom. For many years of her illness, she could “pass” for a healthier person. But now the disease is taking its toll on her physically in ways that really do show. But that happy face – it gives me so much joy.


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