This was a picture I thought about posting yesterday. Same trip — to Greece and Macedonia — but the look is one I recognize from later years.
As Alzheimer’s slowly took her from us, her face became less and less expressive.
We could still coax a smile out of her, but it wasn’t the same.
He was sleeping when we placed him in her arms. His mother and father hovered, hands ready to catch the precious cargo should she forget what she was doing.
We told her over and over that this was her great-grandson.
Other women residents in the nursing home moved closer, wanting to see, wanting to touch this new life. Perhaps some youth would rub off on them.
But we tried to keep this as her moment. It was, after all, her lineage. Her family.
She smiled a real smile that reached her eyes.
So I look at that travel picture of my mother sitting on a bench, alone, slightly lost — and I know that trip was a milestone, but not in the good sense.
It’s almost like we were at the base of Heartbreak Hill — and we were about to tackle the toughest part of the course. But we didn’t fully comprehend it at the time.
And that’s the trouble. I DO comprehend it now. I’m not ready to do it again.
But my father forgot someone yesterday, a person that he had known well for many years but yesterday he had no recollection of her at all.
So, if I feel a little panicked about this trip to Normandy, it’s because I’m thinking of this other journey that I’m on.
What’s that cheesy saying? “Each day is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” Sometimes cheesy is good and true.
I need to remember that.