I told my mom that we should have some photos taken. Our last photography session was in summer 2016 before my parents moved to Florida. We needed to break the monotony of the pandemic restrictions and have a reason to feel “normal” again.
Phillip and Alice love to dress up. Mom purchased a larger dresser in my bedroom because every closet is near capacity. “A.J. Fine” was the nickname given in her WVSU days from always having an eye for classic and trendy styles. She knows how to come through with those Michelle Obama 2021 Inauguration Day type of fashion layouts and sporty flare for exercising.
Phil doesn’t have any off days either. His favorite color to wear is white because it reminds him of his Uncle Cecil. Mom has to remind him to add some rotation of all the colorful polos he has. Mom and Dad’s main opportunity to dress up is on Sundays for church. I think they’ve gone to one or two parking lot services in the last year due to the pandemic.
Shopping in our closets was a no brainer after limited public interaction for a year. A while back, a dress on a mannequin caught Mom’s attention. She knew I would like it. We are quick to call each other or text for fashion opinions. It was a matter of days before the dress went from a mannequin to my doorstep.
When I first mentioned this idea to my Mom, she told me that my Dad recently requested getting some photos of him and my Mom. I guess you can say I photobombed them.
We are happy when we can get Big Phil on board to do things. He’s a Vietnam Veteran, Ford Motor Company retiree at age 56, and retired co-owner of P&A Cleaning. He will tell you in a minute, “Nope, I’m gonna stay in and catch some of these ball games.” We can’t argue with that.
My dad was diagnosed with dementia shortly after leaving the poor air quality of the Ohio Valley that kept him on nebulizers. We knew he had symptoms prior to the official doctor’s report. I am very close to my parents and protect them the best ways I know how. I am grateful for the chance to live in these moments although my Dad may forget about them shortly after.
The overall message is to be mindful of the simple acts that can remind a dementia patient that they have purpose. It is equally, if not more important for the caregiver (my Mom) to have her crown polished from time to time also.
My grandma often told me, “Your parents are your jewels.” She could not have described them any better.
Love and Honor Always,
Styled by: Alice Smoot