Plans & Surprises

Life with Mom

—-This is a story of a life shared with Mom after her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.—

 My plan for yesterday was to spend a day at a Retreat at Stairway Healing Arts in Cambridge, NY, led by wellness guru, Mandy Meyer-Hill.  The retreat had to be postponed, but she offered to meet me anyway for a massage.  That was the surprise.  I know a massage is great when I leave with my head in the clouds and a feeling of pure relaxation.  Her studio is warm and inviting.  Meeting Mandy, if you’re ever in Cambridge, is a must.  She’s also a wonderful writer of inspiration.  Here’s her Blog:


This masterpiece hangs on the wall in Mandy’s massage studio.

My next stop, about 4 doors down, was Battenkill Books, where “Recommender in Chief” Jon Katz spends a few hours every Saturday meeting customers and chatting about the writings of many authors.  I wasn’t sure he would be there, though, because I knew he had a speaking engagement in Chatham, NY later in the day.  (Here’s the link to his post about his special time in Chatham:

He was there, and we had a chance to talk a little about my “Life with Mom”, and how unsure I am about how to proceed with writing and describing my feelings about the incredible gift I’ve been given to be with her.  He coached me to write about exactly where I’m at.  I will be doing that to the best of my ability.  This requires a lot of reflection and honesty.  I’m open for the challenge.

The next unexpected happening was when Jon’s wife, Maria walked in.  She’s pleasant, funny, smart and creative, and I always feel like the world is right when I’m in her presence.   She’s an incredible artist, and focuses her work on creating wonderful fiber-art pieces.  Here’s her Blog:

The next surprise came in the form of an invitation from Maria and Jon to have a quick lunch with them at Bedlam Farm.  I ran and jumped in my car, and almost beat them there.  Maria reminded me of my Grandmother, Mamie.  Grandma Mamie could feed anyone at a moment’s notice.  I could never pull anything like that off, but Maria pulled together a quick and delicious lunch for us.   Bedlam farm is a magical place.

On the way home, I thought a lot about what Jon said regarding writing about where I’m at, at any given moment or point in my life.  For me, this is kind of a new or different way of thinking about myself and my life.  As I’ve written about my father in “Travels with Dad”, all of my stories and feeling about how things unfolded were reflective.  I wrote about things many years after they happened.  Life with Mom is unfolding live every day, and requires a different approach.

I took a little bit of a different route home, and came across this waterfall and tunnel.  They both reminded me of how I feel today, meaning that life flows openly, and also has its limitations.  But in the end, I do believe that we all come out on the other side of what we’re given as more enlightened people, with a better sense of life and the importance of our commitments to each other.



 The last surprise of the day:  A wonderful bowl of strawberries.  I went upstairs for a little while last night, and when I returned to the kitchen, these strawberries where sitting there, waiting to be eaten.  I later found out that the fruit fairy was my mother.  Brian and I shared the treat.


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3 Responses to Plans & Surprises

  1. This piece was as beautiful as Mandy’s Masterpiece and your mother’s gift of strawberries.

  2. mafarckle says:

    You are healthy and happy and have a wonderful view on life.  Love to you. Ma F


  3. Ann says:

    What a wonderful day you had, Diane,keeping yourself open to whatever might come along. You belong to a wonderful,supportive community. And your momma is so sweet!

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