Growing up, my mom was very close to her brother, Jeff. They are almost 2 years apart in age…to the day. A couple of years ago, Uncle Jeff moved to Montana. Mom always expresses her regrets at them moving and always talks about visiting him. We actually sent her up to visit a little over a year ago, for their birthday. They haven’t seen each other since that visit.
This month is Uncle Jeff’s wedding anniversary to his dear wife, my Aunt Starla. To celebrate, they booked a trip out here to California to visit their favorite places, friends and family. Mom has been anticipating this visit. On Monday, we all congregated at my sister’s house to visit with Uncle Jeff. Mom was the last to arrive. We were all standing around in the living room when mom dashed through the front door. Immediately she looked around the room and quickly made her way towards the kitchen. She was on a mission.
I met her at the kitchen/living room entryway and directed her back to the living room, where Uncle Jeff was standing and chuckling.
“Hello, do you know who I am?” he said with a big grin.
Mom looked right past him and was trying to peek over my shoulder.
“My brother Jeff, Jeff? Have you seen him?” she said.
I know it is sad that she can’t recognize her own brother. However, it’s what we’ve come to expect with this disease. We can either cry about it or try to find some humor. Mom has such a childlike innocence about her that it’s hard to not smile sometimes. It was kind of cute to see her looking around in anticipation and excitement to find her brother. It reminded me of when people are standing in the airport, peering over shoulders in search of a loved one.
We finally clued her in to the man standing next to her.
“Mom, that is your brother,” I said, pointing to my Uncle.
“Huh, Jeff? You’re Jeff?” she said with a grin, nervously tugging at her hair. “You’re looking really differently too.”
Uncle Jeff gave his baby sister a hug, followed by Aunt Starla.
Trying to get mom to take a picture these days is quite a riot. Everyone was chuckling as we tried to get mom to pose for a picture. And more importantly…to look at the camera! She kept looking away, talking and giggling and we kept calling her name and trying to focus her attention back to the camera-much like you’d do when trying to photograph a baby! We eventually got some good shots ;)