This week we want to share a story that was presented at our Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group this month. You can click here to watch the video and hear the story first hand.
When Tony Luciani’s aging mother needed more care, he brought her to live with him. At this time Tony, a painter, was trying his hand at photography. He quickly found that photography was a productive activity that he and his mother could do together. Over the next 3 years he would take pictures of his mother, who would pose for the camera while telling stories. Here are a few of their favorite photos:
Elia, Tony’s mother, now lives in an Assisted Living facility down the street from his home. He no longer takes pictures of her, but visits her often. Elia no longer knows Tony’s name, but she still recognizes his face and welcomes him with a smile. Tony has lost many loved ones quickly and unexpectedly. With his mother, Tony wanted a long goodbye. You can see Tony and Elia’s exhibition “MAMMA: In the Meantime” by clicking here.
Another one of our favorite “long goodbye” stories is about Eliza.
Eliza had worked as a waitress in Burley, Idaho for most of her life. She had two sons and one daughter. Left with less than ideal circumstances they all worked hard to keep their family afloat. During this time much was expected of Eliza’s children, especially her daughter. This pressure left the family relationships strained. Eventually her children grew up and moved away. Distance kept her family estranged for some time. Finally, at the age of 91 it was time for Eliza to retire from waitressing. She was beginning to need more care and dementia had started to set in. Eliza to receive the long term care that she needed. Eliza’s daughter lived close by and would visit often. This time with her mother helped her begin to heal, and let go of the resentment she had been holding on to.
Long goodbyes can give us time to show our loved ones how much we care and give us time to cope with loss. Do you have a long goodbye story that you’d like to share? Comment below!
Bel Aire Senior Living
1088 E 390 S American Fork, UT 84003