My mother had moved to southern California to an assisted living facility and be nearer my sister. I remember having a gut feeling that I should go down and visit her. There were no apparent health concerns that prompted my visit, just a deep gut feeling that I should spend some time with her.
Her room was adorned with my photography. From personal family photos to my fine art prints. These photographs have always made up the fabric of a Peacock family household. My mother was suffering from dementia. She was in good spirit and disposition but her memory was rapidly fading away. During my visit we had a lovely time together, but she was having difficulty remembering which son I was, but in her heart she knew I was someone who meant very much to her. Her mind may not recall but she can feel, for it’s in her heart and that muscle of love and acceptance that still beats and works.
During my visit I pulled out my camera and started taking some photos of my mother. There were no words exchanged, just that special communication between mother and son - artist and subject. She then spoke up and mentioned how she loved all the pretty photos on the wall. How they gave her pleasure.
I said “Thank you and it has been my pleasure to take them and share them with you.”
Then my mom replied. “Oh? Did you take these photos?
I was stunned. It was at this moment that I realize how far lost she had come with her dementia. She could not remember that I was her son who she witnessed take his first photo when he was five years old or watch his life unfold with photography being the only constant through his years. After I got over the shock of realizing my mother’s advanced condition, I discovered I did what I was meant to do. I gave her joy and happiness though my photography. It didn’t matter that she remembers who I was. All that matter is that she had a warm feeling of love and appreciation.
This photo of her was the last time I saw her conscious. Her health declined rapidly after my visit. She was happy, content and very appreciative of the chocolate brownie I brought along at the insistence of my sister.
Marylou Peacock - Birthday is April 12th.