I usually walked back to her apartment for supper and, as per Mom's request, planned to stay put in the evenings because without a car it was too dangerous to be walking at night. But I am blessed to have good friends and Irene is one of them. She often came to pick me up to take me for a walk in the city park at dusk. The elms stood in stark relief against the sunsets, and the snow wore a royal mantle of purple. Surrounded by this loveliness, we talked about everything -- aging parents, our own health, films and books, and mutual friends. Irene's wise counsel gave me the perspective to understand and accept what was going on. Other old friends - Ron and Dawn, Patti and Rik, Ruth and Bob, Melanie and John -- invited me for suppers and quiet evenings. I never felt alone.
When the hospital wanted to release Mom to a nursing home, I knew that she had to be near us. That wonderful medical team helped me negotiate the paperwork needed to bring her here. I packed up the apartment, disbursed belongings and bought plane tickets. It was a long day, but Ron got us to the plane, oxygen tank and all, and Myrna and Mani were there at the other end with Jon to meet us. Mom lived another nine months. Today is the anniversary of her death, eight years ago. As always, I will spend the day with her, looking at old pictures, listening to her voice tapes and looking at her paintings and embroidery. Not that there is any need to remember my mother; she is everywhere I look in our home.
This painting in particular conjures both loss and riches and my heart feels full.