The Last Birthday

Gladys last birthday 2012

Today I wear purple and remember the long goodbye on the longest day of the year.  It is hard to look at this photo of my mom on her last birthday.  My mother was beautiful, funny and smart.  What I see in this photograph is my mom’s spirit caught in a Lewy Body brain.  I hate dementia.

My brother and I are smiling for this picture because that is what you do in a photograph with your mom on her 85th birthday but, I assure you, we were dying a slow death right along with her on the inside.  Neither of us wanted to go to the nursing home that October 14th.  Not because we didn’t want to visit with our mom but because of the pain and hopelessness we felt when we did.  It was one of those, “I’ll go if you will go with me” scenarios.  Our older sister just couldn’t do it.  It hurt too much.  Be careful about judging family who rarely visits unless you have sat for one of these photos with someone you love dearly.

So, today we wear purple and remember all who have struggled with dementia like Gladys and George and those still on the journey like Martha and Ed.  But, we also remember the loved ones in the photographs who are smiling on the outside.