Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mama's Trip to New Chapter in Tucson

Our first morning in Tucson--Somehow this shadow across Mama's face seems fitting.  Her mind is fractured; she is not in full light anymore, but her joy of the moment still exists and she remembered this favorite jacket which was wearing out and I took home to patch--the many hours I put into repair were only a small part of what she put into sewing my dresses and ballet costumes for years.
Caught in the moment of watching hummingbirds.  Martha is happy to have Mama on her home turf.
Mama's first day at Mocking Bird Cottage at Encore Senior Village, where Rediscovery is specialized.
What a face!  Was it the lunch?  Airport food in Dallas, breaking the monotony of flying.
The wheel chair had its own adventure.  Wish I had a picture of the three of us pushing it to the gate.
Mama's new kitchen at Mocking Bird.  Sean behind the counter entertaining, while Ken, the walker, naps on the couch in the sitting area.  Great homey feel to the cottage--12 live here.
Cookies!  Martha had a great idea--"Let's make Mama's cookies and decorate them with the residents."
Mama made these cookies every Christmas since I was a small girl.  Martha and I remembered how we would sneak downstairs in the middle of the night to have a cookie raid.  For years Mama would send us a cookie package in December for my 2 boys to enjoy.  I made them too, but Mama's were legend.  Martha mixed, I rolled and cut.  what fun!  The frosting was colored with prickly pear juice hand made by Martha.  The residents were happy to help us....some decorated, all ate cookies with great pleasure.  I wish I had a cookie now to savor....
Mama looking comfortable in her chair in her room.  When we got her to Encore after the flight, she got angry that we had taken her there without consulting her.  She wasn't comfortable, she said, but I reminded her that I wasn't comfortable when she dropped me off at college and I was frightened the first day at kindergarten, yet it had to be done.  Amazing how awakened she can be when she gets angry.  Well, we all talked it over, put her in her nightie, and she slept well the first night and all the rest of the nights.  Look at her perky self in her bird shirt.  What a happy lovely lady!  Yeah, Mama!


Sophie Munns said...

How wonderful the way you made such a special time of this Maggie.
The kitchen looks so inviting and the cookie session with the group was an absolutely wonderful gesture.
In a difficult time you have certainly created a lovely atmosphere for you dear mother.
You will rest easier knowing she is settled here!

MB said...

Maggie---What a loving missive. You and Martha have captured the essence of Kharma. All the happiest memories to your Mom.

nancy neva gagliano said...

so smart these days to have our wonder cameras to document treasured times..what a transition in your mama's world and face...and great to remind her of your new experiences from kindergarten to college beginnings. lovely cottage there, and how fortunate to have you mom so upbeat! in this stage! not always the case, but her happy sparkle stays with her, and love of her sweet daughters!!

nancy neva gagliano said...

hi...wrote a very long comment, must have skipped ye ol verification word.
but lovely to record this transition, to remind your mom of dropping you off at kindergarten and college...these transitions are part of life, and you and your sisters obviously are reasons why your mother is so radiant! so sweet that she is, in the 'shadow', but on the side more gleeful than many. cherished smile, memories. good for you all!

Maggie Neale said...

Hello Sophie, Marybeth, and Neva, your words are kind and appreciated. I knew I had to record this event while it still was fresh before it became dreamlike. Yes, we did a positive adventure with Mama and got her someplace which suits her likes and abilities. It is such a relief. For the past 2 months, she was distressed in the past "home", because she was not "home" and felt trapped and alone even though my brother was visiting often. "all the people here are sad." she would say and she would walk out without a coat trying to find her car. When she cried in sadness, she was given a shot. Not the life she deserved.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

This cottage living is great...interaction with others and a feeling of home. I love that you all made cookies...again home. My mother was in a home situation and she and the others felt calm, normal and content...a good ending for her.

San said...

She is indeed a lovely, spirited lady and I believe you got the lovely, spirited gene yourself, Maggie. These are sunny pictures and it looks like your mama is in a beautiful place where she will enjoy friends and new discoveries.

My word verification is INSIDE. Somehow that seems appropriate. Your mom and you will be making new discoveries INSIDE yourselves.

layers said...

My mother in law (88) lives in Tucson in a place called Splendido-- beautiful residence home. I just visited and so your post brought back memories.. this cottage place sounds and looks very cozy and nice.

Maggie Neale said...

Mary Ann, San, and Donna....so nice to hear from all of you with your lovely words of support and encouragement. I hadn't even seen Encore before we moved mama there....so happy it is working out!