Mom has always loved the ocean. She and my father used to live in a house with a beautiful ocean view and one of the many sad things about moving out to be with me took that aspect of life away from her.
But, she and I both love the water and seek it out. We have access to a harbor that we used to walk around often. She always loved that but in our current house it is a bit further away and getting Mom out a bit more challeningat this stage.
Last year, for Mother’s Day, we drove out to the ocean for a day. It was a good day, one that I think I will always remember– until of course, I don’t. We ate a picnic of cold pasta salad out of old ice cream containers, sitting on beach towels. Mom wanted to kick her shoes off and get her feet wet in the ocean. She was delighted by just a few minutes with cold wet toes. For weeks after, she brought up the beach trip and talked about going again. It brought her joy.
In a fit of deciding that it was officially the end of winter for us, I took Mom this past weekend to the ocean. I could not help but contrast this trip to that day last year. She was overwhelmed at walking out onto the sand in her shoes. There was no sitting on the beach or walking in the water. Mom is drawn into her self so much more at this point.
I was delighted though when we first walked out on the boardwalk and Mom turned to me and said, I live here you know. She recognized the ocean as her place. And in spite of a more limited experience, it still was a good day.
March 20, 2015 at 7:18 am
The enjoyment of things changes on dementia’s downward slope but it’s lovely when it is so clearly still there, even if different from before.
March 20, 2015 at 8:21 am
Your mother’s comment was so definite. She seemed so sure about her declaration. Beautiful.
March 20, 2015 at 9:27 am
It’s so wonderful that you made the effort to take her there. And it sounds like it was all worthwhile for that spark of recognition…beautiful. Your post made my day. 🙂
March 20, 2015 at 7:31 pm
Thanks for the lovely comments!