A picture of Mom

Mom, 2/24/10

Normally, it might not seem so normal for a 53 year old man to post pictures of his mother on his blog.

But Mom has lived a public life, and some of my friends see this blog and will enjoy seeing this picture.

We were in the kitchen, at Mom’s house, and Kathy Chaffin was talking about having to get up very early and ride a school bus.  She’s writing a story about school bus drivers.  She mentioned that a photographer was going also.

Mom has always liked to brag about me.  Her criticism could be harsh also, but the motherly praise often fell into the “his  _____ don’t stink” category.

Alzheimer’s is a brutal disease that robs memory and leaves a person, at a certain stage, stuck with only a momentary, fleeting wisp of a thought — at best.

In this case, the word “photographer” prompted Mom to demand Kathy’s attention in order to tell her that “Sammy is a wonderful photographer.”

In high school, when I took grainy, barely visible, no-contrast pictures for the school newspaper, I established the fact that I’m not much of a photographer.  But this was just the convergence of a word and a person and a feeling that prompted such a coherent — if not accurate — remark.

Thanks to camera phones, I decided to make an effort to instantly validate her claim by requesting a smile for a picture.  Maybe not a “wonderful” photographer, but a photographer nonetheless.

Alzheimer’s robs memory.  It doesn’t necessarily rob a person’s capacity for joy — as you can see here.