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Author Topic: Early Riser  (Read 1780 times)

Chris Calohan

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Early Riser
« on: April 21, 2013, 12:45:55 AM »

A little backstory on this one. I recently went down to see my mother who's been showing significant signs of growing dementia over the last month. Thursday, when I visited her last, she didn't know who I was or my name until we played about 20 minutes of Starts with a C, second son...etc.

It's not fun seeing someone in your family leave though still physically exist. I love her no less, but I miss her terribly.

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RSL

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 05:58:58 AM »

Chris, I'm with you. My mother went through the same metamorphosis, so I know what you're feeling. It's heartbreaking.

Dale Villeponteaux

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 08:27:37 AM »

The image is an apt, if sad, metaphor.  I, too, watched my father fade away years before his death.

P.S.  I had to correct those two sentences four times to get the punctuation right.  I hope that's not a harbinger of my future.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 08:30:19 AM by Dale Villeponteaux »
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Michael West

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2013, 09:14:21 AM »

The one chair out of focus is a wonderfully touching metaphor.

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Heinz

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 10:13:08 AM »

Very nice image Chris. Well composed and the moving chair completes the story, 'someone has just left'. Sorry for the rough times you are going through.  :(
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Chris Calohan

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 11:54:36 AM »

Thanks everyone for your kind comments. There is a certain inevitibility that if one lives to be 88, one faces this potential of losing touch with reality. My mother was a psychologist and watched her own mother struggle with Alzheimers and begged me to give her a treatment with the old feather pillow should she also get that way. Of course, I can no more do that than my mother could have to her mother...sigh, I shall do what I can to at least make the time she has left meaningful even if she has no cognition it is meaningful to her.

It is weird to think just 25 years ago, she had just completed the final rapids trip of all the Class Five rapids in the United States...My, how she loved the white water.
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RSL

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2013, 12:21:45 PM »

That's the hardest part: watching a flashing intellect wither and die. But here's something even harder: I have a brother-in-law who's always had a brilliant intellect and who was a lot more than just a brother-in-law; he was a very close friend. He has Parkinsons (why would anyone want a disease named after him?). The flashing intellect still is there, inside a body that can't walk unassisted, and can't talk well enough to make use of that intellect. That's even worse than watching a much loved person sink into dementia. I know my mother was happy and comfortable in her distant state. She'd talk about visiting her dad, who'd died decades earlier, and smile as she told about her visit. But my brother-in-law is still here, in this daily world, but trapped -- as surely imprisoned as if he were in a barred cage.

Chris Calohan

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2013, 12:59:09 PM »

I just lost a friend to Parkinson's recently...it's such a terrible disease because like you pointed out, the mind stays clear right up to the end, but the body refuses to cooperate even the tinest bit. My mother will be fine in her own world. She was an avid reader and loved history. I am sure wherever she goes, it will be filled with great adventure.
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Justan

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2013, 01:00:39 PM »

It is very painful to see loved ones die a little at a time, and yet it happens a lot.

IMO, protecting loved ones through this time is perhaps the most powerful lesson of family if not of humanity.

wolfnowl

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 02:03:20 PM »

Powerful image.

Several members of Marcia's family have MCH (multiple cavernous hemangiomas), which can manifest as Alzheimer's-like symptoms.  Her mom went through a long period of decline, but when Marcia went back to visit and walked into the hospital room, her mom recognized her immediately.  This is one of the last images of the two of them together.


IMG_1386 by wolfnowl, on Flickr

Mike.
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WalterEG

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 02:34:58 PM »

Quite possibly the very best image of yours I have seen Chris.  It's wonder is strongly enhanced by your terribly sad announcement.  From here on there will be bad days and good days - I guess you just have to enjoy the good days to the hilt.

Every blessing,

Walter
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Chris Calohan

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2013, 03:18:03 PM »

Thanks. Walter, Russ, Mike and everyone else for your thoughts...it is a sad time but there is always the joy of great memories and memories are like photographs in that you can relive special moments over and over.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 12:13:52 AM »

Powerful image, Chris!

Sorry to hear about your mother. I lost my father last July to health complications, caused mostly by dementia.

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2013, 09:49:28 AM »

Add my appreciation for the image and sympathy with your situation. My father died at 90 of either Alzheimers or a similar condition, and my mother, at 101, is starting to be a bit forgetful (but not dementia, at least not yet).

Eric
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Chris Calohan

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 10:15:08 AM »

At 101, I think you deserve a senior moment or two.  ;D
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Early Riser
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2013, 03:35:21 PM »

At 101, I think you deserve a senior moment or two.  ;D
I agree. And she still has her sense of humor, which is very important.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my photo website. New images each season. Also visit my new website: http://ericneedsakidney.org
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