Last week, I stopped in at my in-law’s apartment. The temperature outside was in the 90s but when I went into the apartment, the air conditioning was turned off. Mom had a sweater on and was bundled up in a blanket. I don’t know how Dad can stand it. As we sat visiting, I was sweltering in my shorts and tank top but she couldn’t get warm. She told me she’s reached the point in life where she will never be warm again.
As we see each other day by day, I don’t really notice these changes. But when I come into a stifling apartment to find Mom freezing, the reality that she is not doing well is unavoidable. It gives me a momentary pause - we won’t have them for ever. It hits me suddenly and I am saddened.
But there are things to do and needs to be met, so I marshal on. Later, I sit in my studio in a fog, staring out the window. The fulness of our situation hits me once again and I weep.
Is it really any wonder why I can’t create?
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.