I had a brief visit with my Mom on Saturday. She was very sleepy, so I didn’t stay long. With her dementia and moods, I find it best to not linger and become an irritant if she’s sleepy or grouchy. In those instances, I cut my visits short and come back on another day.
Mom was sitting outside, with one leg up, when I arrived.
I snapped this photo while standing in the doorway. Mom is the only resident enjoying the fresh air.
In the background, you can see several bird feeders hanging from a tree.
I zoomed in for this photo when a bird landed on one of the bird feeders.
Using my telephoto lens, I captured a shot of the bird’s colors.
Mom was not excited by the sudden activity at the bird feeder.
My final photo of Mom during this visit. She loves being surrounded by pillows and cushions.
Mom’s mood was pleasant enough on this day, but she couldn’t stay awake. I blame that on the company she keeps.
On my Friday morning visit to see Mom at her memory care center, I brought my new Canon EOS Rebel T41 camera to get more practice with it. My summer vacation to the American Midwest is only 6 weeks away now, so I need to take advantage of every opportunity to become acclimated to the new camera. Mom is usually an excellent photography subject.
As usual, Mom was sitting outside in the sun when I arrived.
Too warm for long sleeves. Veronica helps Mom shed her jacket and then sprays on some sunscreen.
A few minutes after taking off the jacket, Mom is fast asleep in the sun.
Mom’s fellow residents in memory care are indoors, working on a jigsaw puzzle.
Lorraine enjoyed smiling for the camera.
Carol was in a great mood too.
When I asked Dolores to smile, she decided to improvise.
I stepped outside again to check on Mom. She’s still asleep.
When Mom sleeps this soundly, I don’t wake her to say goodbye. I slip out quietly.
I’ll visit Mom again later today. I see her 3 to 5 times per week. Her memory is almost completely gone now, so she has no idea how often I see her.
I grew up in the Washington Manor neighborhood in San Leandro, California. To most of us that grew up there, or live there now, the Washington Manor neighborhood is known as “The Manor”. Last week, when reading the local San Leandro news online, I learned that one of the most familiar landmarks in the Manor, Porter’s Market, is closing. After 50 years of serving the Manor well as a locally-owned grocery store, Porter’s Market will soon be no more. Yesterday morning, I took a drive through the Manor to snap a few photos of Porter’s Market before the signs come down.
It isn’t much to look at now, especially when compared to national chain superstores like Wal-Mart and Safeway, but Porter’s Market was a big deal in the Manor. For several generations of Manor residents, Porter’s Market was the place to go for groceries. It will be missed.
Across the street from Porter’s Market, we see another old and familiar Manor landmark: Porky’s Pizza Palace.
With Porter’s Market closing now, I believe that Porky’s Pizza Palace will be the lone remaining local business in the Manor that was operating during the years of my youth.
The large sign at the corner of Farnsworth and Manor is getting cleaned up and repaired.
My parents sold their house in the Manor back in 2009, when my mother had to move into an assisted living center. So there’s nothing left for me in the Manor now except for an occasional trip down memory lane.
Mom can teach us all a thing or two about relaxing. She is a champ. You’ll notice a theme in these photos of Mom, which were taken during 2012.
Mom loves to sit outside on the patio.
Mom sits in her favorite seat with her leg up, as usual.
Have you figured out the common theme with these photos?
Mom shows her granddaughter Shannon the proper way to relax.
Mom demonstrates that the leg up technique works fine indoors too.
Given a choice, Mom will always sit outside instead of staying indoors.
Accessorizing with a sombrero does not hinder the leg up routine.
I wonder if I can get away with doing that while I’m at work.
This week, one of my Mom’s fellow residents in memory care, a gentleman named Henry, passed away. Henry was a good and friendly man, and everybody that knew him will miss him greatly. Henry’s passing, and the recent occurrence of Mother’s Day, motivated me to sift through the hundreds of photos that I’ve taken of my mother during her 3 years in memory care. Here is a series of smiles from my Mom.
Mom smiles for me on December 26, 2011.
Mom enjoys the chilly sunshine on the patio on January 14, 2012.
Mom was in a good mood on her daughter’s 50th birthday in February, 2012.
Mom smiles with granddaughter Shannon on April 15, 2012.
Mom was in great mood on June 8, 2012.
Mom spends the evening outside on June 11, 2012.
Mom enjoys the evening air before bedtime on June 17, 2012.
Mom was happy to see me arrive for an evening visit on August 22, 2012
Mom shows her teeth while relaxing after lunch on September 21, 2012.
Mom is all smiles as she hogs the patio seat cushions on September 28, 2012.
Mom is happy sitting outside in the autumn air on October 5, 2012.
A few minutes later, Mom is still smiling.
Mom basks in the warm autumn sun on October 10, 2012.
Mom enjoys the cool fresh air on November 2, 2012.
Those photos were taken with my smartphone or with my old point-and-click Canon PowerShot camera.
Today is Mother’s Day. As a middle-aged man, I’m lucky to still have my mother. My mother’s ongoing struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease often makes it difficult for me to feel lucky, but I’m fully aware that many people my age have no living parents. I try to keep that in mind during my mom’s worst days.
Here’s a photo of my mother that I snapped this morning with my new camera.
Happy Mother’s Day.