My momma is in a nursing home/rehab place and there are a LOT of paintings on the walls. As they were wheeling her past them when she first arrived, she wondered if they were real paintings or just prints. She wasn't supposed to get out of bed. Two feet from her bed there is a painting on the wall. While I was on the phone with her the day she arrived, she was still wondering about the paintings. I was amazed she remembered to mention it. She has dementia. She says, "If I skooch over a little, I might could touch it and find out if it is real, Maggie. Do you think they'd get mad at me if I touch the painting?" I said, "Momma, you are paying enough to be there...touch the painting if you want!" So she starts skooching over and lifts one of her butt cheeks off the bed. Well, neither her or I knew she was on a pad that had an alarm. All of a sudden I hear this SCREAMING alarm going off. I'm yelling, "Momma! Momma! Are you okay?!?" She started laughing her head off as the nurse came in saying, "Do you need some help?" Mom told her she was just trying to see if the painting was real or a print. The nurse, very nicely touched the painting for my mom and said, "It's real. And the artist's name is_____. I'm sorry I can't make out the name very well." What a nice nurse. My mom proceeded to tell her that she and her daughter that she is on the phone with (me) are artists and we were wondering if they were real paintings.
My momma was an artist. She's still alive so she is still an artist, but she hasn't made art for a zillion years. She is recovering from a surgery in the care facility. We went to Omaha to visit her this week. We sent flowers, but the best thing we did was bring her a sketchbook and some pencils. She was delighted with them! I doubt she'll remember to draw in the sketchbook, but it is there just in case. I would love for her to draw something again. She has super shaky hands but I think she could do it. She was worried, too, about a notebook I brought her to write in. She said she's not a very good speller. I told her that no one had to read the notebook but her. It was to be her "brain" so she could write down things she didn't want to forget. It is BRIGHT yellow, so it should catch her eye, and knowing her curious nature, will look into it. I think it will be better than scraps of paper that she makes notes on and loses. I hope she uses her notebook, too.
While there, I mentioned to the therapists that my mom is an artist. One of them said they would see if the art therapist could do some one on one with her this week. With all my heart, I hope so. Of all the things she has forgotten, and the little she does remember, she still remembers art. She remembers everything about art. Oh, and she remembers me still, and for that I am thankful. I hope to get back to Omaha to see her again really soon. If she has done any art, I'll post it here for you to see.