It’s almost too much sometimes.
Interested in whether or not Mom and Dad’s rather vintage video-camera , of which they had taken such great pride in when it was freshly purchased, was still working – I asked my son Ben to plug it in. The battery pack – naturally (as Mom was so very well organized) was right where it should have been tucked neatly into a side pocket. Ben plugged the battery into the wall – rewound the film that was inside and hit play.
There he was – Dad – smiling at the dinner table. Ben and I didn’t get the sound on right away, but we could tell he was interacting with whoever it was filming him. The camera panned to the mirrors in the dining room – and then back to Dad.
Then, it happened. The camera moved into the kitchen. There was Mom. Cooking. She was always in the kitchen cooking. This time, however, not only was she wearing her neck brace, but also her body brace that supported her spine. It was at this time in her life when she really struggled to walk. Her spine had disintegrated through loss of calcium to the point where it was literally collapsing on itself. There she was – cooking. I remember so well how challenging it was to let her do that. Any outsider would have scolded me for allowing Mom to cook. But Mom found meaning and purpose in cooking for her family. To take this away from her would have been to sentence her to death.
BTW: Shortly after this clip was filmed she received a “cement” injection that filled in her spine and allowed her to walk for several years afterwards without pain.
The movie-maker moved down the hall to capture Mom and Dad’s first care-giver “Rou” in the midst of trying to organize Dad’s bathroom drawers.
This must have been taken at least three years ago.
Oh, how time changes all.
Rou has moved on – and so have Mom and Dad.
How utterly wonderful it was to find this clip – and at the same time how utterly painful. The images have immobilized me. I am useless today – other than to express my experiences in this post in the hopes that this experience will help someone else to feel they are not alone. Or maybe to help me feel that way.
How strange to have been in their home only this morning… no Mom.. no Dad. And to see them in the same location this afternoon on film. I don’t know if film is good or bad at this point. I’m sure that time will offer me a more clear perspective on the truth of the matter – but my brain is fuzzy today – here and now.
What do I do with the camera? That has pretty much been my rate-limiting-step today. It has been the window to memories so far. It has defined itself as quite useful – but disabling at the same time.
The camera will sit in the front room with the collection of other “don’t know what to do with items” until I get further “clarity” of mind.
Mom and Dad’s winter coats… I was able to pack into a bag headed for the Salvation Army today – but the camera will sit in limbo … for a while anyhow.
Really. Sometimes, it is almost too much.
I know tomorrow is a new day – and if I’m lucky – I’ll see Mom in the sunrise and Dad in the sunset – and my life will be in synchronicity once again.