Who knew when we bought this painting nearly 10 years ago that it would be so prophetic?

We got it because we liked it, the colors under proper light were wonderful and it appeared to be the perfect fit for the spot over the fireplace.  At the time the subject matter didn’t have any special meaning; in fact, it seemed rather sweet.  It was no more than a nice painting, and it is just right for the space for which it was purchased.

In the years that have passed, the painting has taken on new life.  My mother has been diagnosed with dementia.  She remembers less and less about her life, but she is still a whiz at word games and when we play Yahtzee she can add faster than I.  She grows smaller day by day having lost her appetite and in many ways she seems quite lost to me.

As a consequence of her condition, we have moved her to an assisted living facility where she shares space with others who, in different ways, are no more competent than she.  I go over several times each week and what I see reminds me of the painting.  Some people are napping in their chairs.  Others are wandering, trying to figure out what they should be doing.  Some are lounging in their chairs looking lost, sad.  I want to know what they are feeling, what they are thinking, if they feel abandoned, forgotten.  They seem unable to tell me, and the same is true for the elderly figures in the painting who now seem lost to me.

During these visits I often feel scared, fearful of my own future.

I wonder if I am the woman in the middle of the painting wondering what to do, feeling helpless, questioning life that seems to be lost.

I can’t help but wonder if this canvas grew out of a situation experienced by the artist.  I am sure he was not aware that one day this story would become my story.  Yes, art speaks, draws us in, plays with our emotions.  Do you ever find that to be true?

Linking to Word Women Wednesday

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14 thoughts on “Art Speaks

  1. I can see what you are talking about. We have also gone down this road with my mother-in-law. Ahlzheimers is a horrible disease. It took away all of her dignity. Share the times past with your mother…talk about things she still remembers. So sorry that this has come your way!

  2. Hello, Linda, sorry to hear about your mom. The painting prophesy is very interesting, how you can read into it and find meaning, like tea leaves, only more colorful.
    I think that when “art speaks, draws us in, plays with our emotions”, it is doing what it is meant to do.
    Best wishes, Z

  3. So true, so true, my mom is the one who just sits out in the common living area. No longer intereacting with others, just sits…I sometimes too am fearful of being that, that just being someday! Thanks for your beautiful pics and insightful muse

  4. Oh my I can’t believe that this painting is a painting of your life right now! I truly am sad by reading your words…that is not a bad thing. It makes me think about you and your mom. about me and my mom. about assisted living homes and dementia.
    I have often wished I could paint and create stories like your painting on canvas. what is it like with your mom and how has this changed your relationship. I would love to hear more sometime. I appreciate your sharing…truly:)
    xo

  5. I do find that art speaks to me, brilliantly at times. You know, I was just reading Abby’s blog (she linked up today, too) and I found her words so hopeful in times when life is confusing and out-of-whack and sad. She talks about this world not being our home. I take refuge in that one day, I will be on the other side, in a perfect place, with those I love — free, healthy, and whole.

  6. My mother in law has dementia.. she can’t remember much but please iron her pillowcases… so we do. My prayers are with you, you will need a strength you didn’t know you had. How prophetic the painting was.. It is lovely.

  7. Linda, It is good you can write about your feelings. I know God understands. I wish I could say something to comfort you. The only thing I can say is you are strong, caring and loving and are a good daughter.

  8. That was beautiful, and that picture is just as you said- prophetic. My 88 year old mother is winding down this road of memory loss. It’s a mysterious thing to watch, how they can know some things so well and the next minute not be able to remember if they just took their pill. It is maddening and sad, but I think we all have to remember to live while we can.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    Wishing you well,
    Liz

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