Thoughts and Wanderings

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I got to her house just as she was ready to go for her afternoon walk, holding on to her purse with one hand and her caregiver with the other. At almost 94 years old, she gets around well but conversation comes in very small snippets if at all. Her world is often her memory of childhood and sometimes I think she's back in her Italian village in the mountains of Tuscany.

As we head out the door, she knows the directions she wants to walk. Turn left at her sidewalk, turn the corner at the end of the block, cross the street and walk to the next corner, turn that corner and the next, cross the street and walk to the parking lot of the neighborhood restaurant. No, you don't stay on the sidewalk there, but must walk through the parking lot and under the overhang of the building. Her walks never change. Her step is quick and has purpose. She holds on to her caregiver the entire time and is careful not to fall.

Today she held on to my hand also. A beautiful, warm, sunny Thanksgiving weekend and the sidewalks are covered with autumn leaves of every color. She wasn't careful walking through the leaves. She headed toward them like a child heading for a rain puddle. Head a little down, feet suddenly dragging on the dry pavement, then a bit of a rush as her little feet became buried in the dry leaves and she swished through them singing something I didn't understand.

She's happy. She smiles all the time. She sings. She lives in a world that I don't know. But once in a while she shows me a picture of her world. Sort of like a quick look through her window and then the curtain is drawn again.