How often do you enter a room to see only unalloyed pleasure at your arrival?
Well, that is one of the genuine charms of visiting Mom. First Phyllis—a big, big hug, followed by her tiny voice, twinkling (truly) eyes and gorgeous smile. Next exotic Flora—again surprised and gratified that I remember her name. Then Kathleen—solemn as always, intelligent, articulate and eager to engage. Finally Mom—not quite sure who I am (she often addresses me as “sir”) but greeting me with her usual charm. At once disconnected, Mom also seems to function as a center of her small group. One by one, they enter her room to join us in song and conversation and finally an impromptu dance to Jimmy Fallon’s rendition of Blurred Lines with Kindergarten instruments. She tells everyone, including me, that they are beautiful.
Who wouldn’t want to visit Mom?
Then it’s time for the painting class, led by Sandy Sabersky of Elderwise. I can’t wait to see what Mom painted last time. My sister Jeanne—an artist at heart—was in town and had joined the class. Because Mom’s hearing is so terrible, she usually can’t follow Sandy’s introduction; instead she waits for Sandy’s first few brushstrokes and off she goes —humming and painting whatever is in her mind’s eye. But with Jeanne, she was able to see what Sandy was after—and with Jeanne’s painting to guide her, she made it her own…which is pretty wonderful.