My husband and I visited my mother today at her nursing home home. As we sat in her room and chatted my mother mentioned that she couldn’t remember where she was living now- what it looked like. I suggested we might go for a little walk and look at the building from the outside. Remarkably, she said yes.
My mother spent years mostly in a dark room, curtains closed against light that she was sure would trigger a migraine, paralyzed by anxiety about her blood pressure. She was afraid to laugh or cry or listen to music, for fear of bringing on a stroke. She missed many family celebrations and events ensconced in her messy room. But in recent years she is more calm, more open, more grateful, and occasionally we can get her outside.
We traded slippers for socks and shoes and added a coat and blanket to the warm sweater she always wears. My husband put the feet attachments onto the wheelchair, I signed her out at the desk, and down the elevator we went…
…out the front door. We walked a ways back to see the building entrance. We walked down the sidewalk toward her wing and pointed out her stained glass piece she is so proud of having made, to identify her 3rd floor window. We turned and walked the other way a bit.
We first spied the little pansies. There were clay pots with mounds of new green leaves in their soil- overwintered most likely- and quietly amongst them, the sweet creamy yellow faces of small pansies! My mother said, “They are asserting themselves!”
Then by the bench we came upon some classic bright yellow daffodils. Their faces were turned down to the ground- they had suffered a bit by the last, late snowfall. I lifted one up to show my mom and she said, “Keep going little flowers, you’ll win out.”