Monday, June 18, 2012

Pitcher & Blueberries

Pitcher & Blueberries, 8x8 Oil on canvas.   Bid on eBay

This is from my stash.  I painted this in December and was saving it while I accumulated a body of work suitable for gallery representation.  I particularly liked the background in this one and the sexy, lost edges on my Longaberger pitcher.   I also love the arrangement of the blueberries; the way they pile then softly spill and gently roll away.  Some to the floor.  One was stepped on. Fruiticide is not uncommon in my studio.  :(  

This painting, as I said, is from December, my otherwise past life.  An era gone by.  A time forgotten.  This was a time when I was dodging visits to mom or else running her errands.  Buying her Ensures, taking her to dr appointments.  My husband took care of her bills while I did all the follow up calls to the incompetent billing departments who could never get the billing vs. payments straight.  That was then.  It seemed as though it could go on forever.  No end in sight.  Were it not for her Alzheimer's mom was in fairly good health and in her 70's.  I could see at least 10, maybe 20 more years of this.  So I settled in.  Got comfortable in my role.  Learned to love this new person and new responsibility to me.

And I did love her.  She was fragile and getting more so week by week.  She began losing weight.  Gradually but steadily.  She developed a bed sore.  No matter the care she received from her caregivers at the facility, it worsened.  In fact, became so bad it seemed to become the focus of attention.  Morphine was given and dressings were changed regularly but it persisted and worsened regardless.

I purchased a canister of protein supplement powder, the kind athletes use, to help her body repair the damage but it wasnt enough.  Especially since she began to refuse nourishment.  I was asked to consider hospice.  Hospice?  For my mom?  I could hardly believe what I was hearing.  Hospice always meant to me that a person was in the last days of their life.  I didnt see that as a reality.  What I saw was my mother degenerating but I accepted that it would likely go on for an inconceivably long time.

I spoke to hospice who did, in fact, admit her but I was told that many, many people will stabilize and "graduate" off of hospice. Some go off and on hospice several times.  So it was my new perception that mom just needed a little extra help to get her through this bed sore issue then she would probably, most likely, definitely "graduate back to her current status.

Hospice became a new era for me.  In this era I educated.  Sadly, we so often learn our valuable lessons far to late in life.  I wish I had be wiser sooner.  Here I was, 48 years old and only now realizing, really realizing, who my mother was.  I began to see her, not through the eyes of her child but as an individual watches another individual.  As her child, I couldnt see the forest for the trees.  But during the hospice interview, questions were asked which planted seeds in my thoughts.  Questions.  I evaluated mom from a whole new perspective.

Hospice changes things.  Mortality for one.  And if you will go there: retrospective.  The possibility of moms death was a springboard to the reality of her life.  And how the reality of her life molded mine. 

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