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Mama, Do You Know Me ?
by Leah Sellers
2015-05-10 11:42:00
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After a series of almost undetectable mini-strokes, and an ongoing struggle with breast cancer, Mama developed a mild Dementia.  Some days were better than others.  But each and every day was a Life's Lesson.  A Life's Treasure.
Mama dies last June.  This our Family's First Mother's Day without our Beloved Mama.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Dementia is a cruel Dis-ease.
Gradually - day by day - memory by memory - your Loved One leaves you.
Slips away from you.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama is/was a Gentle, Sensitive Soul.
An Artist.  A Natural Teacher.
A wonderful and inviting Home-Maker.
moth01_400She is/was the Comforting Hearth of Our Family’s Home.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama loves Being outside - out in Nature -
Working and Creating Life in her Flower and Vegetable Gardens.
Sunrises and Sunsets bring a Smile to her lips each and every day.
She always stops to say, “My, how Beautiful the World is -
How Wonderful !”
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama did everything in Life for her Family - for her Four Girls
And their Children, and their Children’s Children
She raised them All with Love, Play, Art, Music, Adventure and Laughter.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama trained all of our Colts.  Even the Stallions.  She Gentled their Spirits.
She spent months building a Respectful Relationship with the young Horses.
Loving them - Working them - Training them, and eventually Riding them.
“Here Girls, this Horse is ready for y’all to Ride now.”
And then she’d firmly place the Horse’s reins in Our Hands.
“Be Thoughtful, Be Respectful, and Take Good Care of your Horse, and the Horse will Take Good Care of you.”
“And if for any reason you fall off, get right back up into your saddle and Ride your horse again.”
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama is a Painter and a Singer.  The Blood of Artists and Musicians runs Through her Veins - through All of her People’s Veins.
“And that same Blood of Artists and Musicians was passed on to her Four Girls,” she often boasts.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Now, Mama Paints only on occasion, when her concentration holds out
Or can hold onto a Project.
She has created a Daily Regimen for herself.
Rigid Ritual is important when Memory is failing.
Every day, she rises at dawn, and after a cup of coffee and bowl of oatmeal,
She tends to and feeds her clucking Chickens, mischievous Goats, cavorting Pony, barking Dogs, napping Cats, chittering Hummingbirds, melodious Songbirds and Snorting Deer. 
Afterwards, she Gardens until it gets too hot outside.
Then she goes inside to take a brief nap, read, write letters and work on her Creative Projects.
When her Four Girls call to check on her she almost always says, “It sure is
Beautiful out here.  The Hill Country is so peaceful.  Sky as far as the Eyes
Can See.  I’m Blessed.”
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
These days Mama doesn’t want to go to any concerts, the opera, the Symphony, art shows, church or even out to visit with Friends.
“Its just too much of a bother.  Anyway, I can’t Re-Member People
Or Places from one minute to the next.  Sometimes, I repeat things I’ve
Already said two or more times.  Sometimes I get lost in buildings I used to Know like the back of my hand.”
When Mama admits these things to her Four Girls, she laughs with a glint of sadness - of something Lost in her soft green eyes.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
“Girls, I’m worried about your Father.
He pulled his old Golf Clubs out of the hall closet
And tried to sell them to People on the Television playing The Price Is Right Again.  I cant get him to understand that the Television People are not real, And cannot hear a word he is saying to them.
I think he’s Losing his Mind.”
“I know Mama.  I know.  Did he get any fair offers for his Bag of Golf Clubs, Mama ?”
We looked at one another knowingly and laughed out loud.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
“Where did you say we are going to, Baby ?”
“To the doctor’s office, Mama.
“That’s right.  That’s right.  I knew that.  I was just checking with you to Make sure that you knew what we were doing.”
“Is that right, Mama ?  Well, thank you for keeping me focused.”
“Sure is taking Bill a long tome to fix my little pick-up truck.  I miss
Driving myself around to get things done on my own.”
“Yes Ma’am, Bill’s still looking for all of the parts he needs.  I’m sure he’ll Call when he’s done.”
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
Mama, got lost for more three hours one day last year while driving into Town for a few groceries, and some chicken and goat feed.
She drove aimlessly around on the back roads just a few miles from home.
She had forgotten to carry her cell phone with her.
She had no idea where she was or how to get back home again.
By chance, her Artists Eye Re-Membered a pretty Horse Ranch she was
Always commenting on, and luckily, she was able to find her way home.
She put a scare into everyone.
When her truck ‘mysteriously’ would not start one morning, the Family
Had it towed away to Bill’s never to return.
Every time Mama asks about the truck, we tell her that Bill will call when It’s fixed.  Oddly, Bill never seems to have the time to fix it.
And Mama has no Concept of Time anymore.
She’s constantly looking at her Lighthouse Calender and her brass Clock.
But neither seem to help her much anymore.
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
“Betty, pass me that plate, please.”
“Yes Mama.  But I’m Cheyenne, your daughter.
Aunt Betty still lives in Arkansas with her Family.”
Mama smiles, “I know that Betty.”
I smile back and passing her the plate say, “I Love you Mama.”
Mama, Do You Know Me ?
“What’s that, dear ?”
“Nothing Mama.  The important thing is that I Know You.
And I Love you with All of my Heart - just as you taught me to Love.
Mama, I Know You.  And right now, that’s all that really matters.”

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