…the gift of Elinore..

16 Mar

Day in and day out she sat  in the room with very little changing in her world.  Rise and shine, up and at-um.  Bathing and dressing and being placed in her chair to be rolled off to meals and  then  returned, back again to her room.  Long was gone the spark in her eyes.  It had faded slowly, not like  the blowing out of a match but more  of a  candle being enveloped by a mysterious and evil fog.  Some days you could see the flicker as if a quiet breeze would part the mist, but those days had become fewer and more far between.   As the spark faded so had  the recognition, the laughter and the memories.    Was she even there?  Buried deep inside, was she just  lost without anyone to help her find the way out?  The television only flickered  with  background images  and the many  portraits  hanging on the wall had lost their ability to jog any memories, good or bad.

She sat in the chair holding the photograph.  I had placed it in her hands and she had grasped it, almost hungrily.   Having a new one,  unfamiliar yet familiar, would that create a spark?  I waited.  She must be waiting too I thought.   Blank eyes only focused periodically and she took her time to look down at the picture.  I had selected one of  her with her  younger sister, Elinore.   Nothing recent since the recent was definitely gone, but instead a photograph of the distant past.  A black and white with tints of grays, where their youth and vibrancy could bring the colors to your imagination.  Young girls, sisters excited to be down by the ocean.  The pleasure of  summer and swimming and just being together shown on their faces.  They had the whole world ahead of them and while maybe not a pearl was awaiting in a found oyster,  their excitement and enjoyment of the moment out shown any imaginable or discoverable  treasures.

She stared and I waited.  How powerful can a picture be?  Can images dredge deep enough to stir a too long dormant soul?   What would it take to pull out some joy, some hope , some semblance of meaning?  The hum of the heater and the background noise of the nurses station droned on around us.  We waited together.  She and I.  Compassion had long lost the ability to revive her, did a photograph have enough power?

Then it began.  Slowly at first.  A glint of light in her blue eyes?  Was it my imagination? Could there be a parting of that mist in her mind?  Then there it was.  The smile.  She saw it.  The love and the memories for a brief moment flooded back, as a wave of  awareness caressed her soul.  It wasn’t but a flash, but she was there.  The color on her cheeks and the tear in her eye said it all.  Blood is thicker than water and images of the past can sometimes impart wonders.  Wonders for her and relief for myself.  She is not gone..Not yet…her time with the sister that she loves, while perhaps locked in the photograph, is still hers to remember.


Posted by on March 16, 2010 in Alzheimers


Tags: ,

4 responses to “…the gift of Elinore..

  1. Beth

    March 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Happy Birthday. You’re daughter is one of a kind.

  2. Filly

    March 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I hope that Ellie will read this.

  3. Lee

    March 21, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Very touching. Ellie has read it and showed it to us (her daughters)

  4. Phyllis

    March 23, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    I have a tear in my eye too. (Another of Ellie’s daughters, and Phyl’s niece.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: