The Secret Window~

Omigosh, is that the house on Watson Wy? :=) I know that house!!!

WOW, that was a surprise!  What were the chances this picture would get recognition?

Me and Mom, 2002

That was the last time I got to hold Mom.

I had just moved to Wisconsin, ready to pick up the pieces of my shattered life,  when I got the call. Dad was seriously ill and in the hospital, and I needed to go back home to take care of Mom~ and my world fell apart all over again.

You see, Mom had Alzheimer’s and Dad had been caring for her for the last several years before anyone even knew what was happening. Oh, I’d get the “we don’t want you to worry…”,  but those words alone were enough to drive me crazy with worry. But I was a million miles away, raising 2 little ones, and 2 teenagers.

I had no idea how bad things were, or the things he’d had to resort to, to keep her out of trouble. He had to unplug the microwave every night, so when Mom got up in the morning for her routine muffin treat for breakfast, she wouldn’t burn down the house. The last muffin Mom attempted to heat, was set for 4o minutes-about 39 too many. The smoldering remnants were tossed unceremoniously in the trash can out back.

I remember thinking how sketchy her letters had become, then they just stopped. She would tell me on the phone, she couldn’t quite put things down to words, and I would tell her  it was ok, I’d rather talk with her anyway. Then dad told me about the time she insisted something was wrong with her Singer 2010 sewing machine. It was one of the first electronic sewing machines, and Mom loved her sewing, made all her own clothes for years.
Nothing was ever wrong with the sewing machine; Mom had simply forgotten how to operate it. How frustrating she must have become, especially when the repairman told her 3 times,  there was nothing he could do… so she quit sewing, altogether. She loved to read her romance novels, but those too, were gathering dust on the shelf.

Dad had taken all the knobs off the range top, too. They were put out of reach in the cabinet, alongside the remains of seasoning packets that had gone out-dated many years before.

Dad came home from the hospital just 3 days after I flew in. He spent his remaining 5 days in a hospital bed, in the living room. I stayed with him  and we watched the Giants almost win the Pennant that year. When they lost, I saw the light go out in his eyes, then he settled back to complete his final journey. We spent the next couple days in each other’s company, neither of us speaking much, just happy to be together again. Most of the day, he just stared at the painting  of an Italian Villa on the wall above the T.V. Mom bought the painting when Dad was stationed in Germany, and although I don’t remember where she bought it, I remember the Street Painter and the day she picked it out.

I imagine Dad was taking his mind back to the home of his father and family, back to Italy.

Sometimes I can almost see him there in the painting,  now hanging in the Guest bedroom. I feel I’m still close to him in that way.

Think I’ll go upstairs and sit a while~


a doily I made for Mom, in her favorite colors~


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