Thursday, August 12, 2010

A meditation on the erasure of memory

Ilda Herrmann on her 95th birthday


shoreacres said...

I couldn't post a thing when I first saw this - it made me tear up. I saw my own mom, slowing, slowly moving away.

It amazes me that she's still living in her own home at 92, and able to get by. But the time is coming. Sigh.

And I love the photo of the window curtain. I've had a curtains-and-breeze entry in my files. This reminded me to go look at it again.

Tom Parker said...

Linda -- Poor Ilda has been in the nursing home for more years than I can remember, but now she lives entirely in an interior world made up of equal parts fantasy (helicopter rides to China, a new son, interactions with people both living and dead) and memory. She can't see nor hear but simply exists. For some reason the curtain and window brought to mind an emptiness that knows no bounds. Thanks for sharing--be thankful your mother is still on her own.

Suzanne said...

The photos of Ilda is very evocative. It's apparent that she's in the netherland of age but what stands out for me is that someone has painted her fingernails and she dressed in a new tee shirt. Someone is still caring for her, even in her diminished state.

This very morning my sister and I are taking our mother for the results of a battery of tests to determine whether she has Alzheimer's or a form of dementia. I've told my mom that unfortunately if you're going to live to an advanced age, there's going to be a price to pay.

Tom Parker said...

Suzanne -- Sorry to hear about your mother. In many ways being lost within oneself and one's memories is a far better place than the harsh reality of a nursing home. I'd much rather disappear into the past or whatever alternate realm these people live in. It's hardest on those on the outside looking in.