Friday, March 13, 2015

Art In The Schools on Ocracoke..... Out and About with My Mom

As you may know, a few years ago my Mother was diagnosed with a disease called Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).  At the time, with compassionate care and proper medication, her quality of life remained high, and she was still able to do many things for herself.  

As time passes, my role in her life has increasingly becomes one of caretaker.  At times I long to be "just her daughter" again; but in most cases this isn't possible.  In part this explains why I was thrilled that she was able to join me on my Ocracoke Adventure in January.  Travel isn't easy; but one of the blessings of it is that in the absence of her daily routines at home, she returns to me in some small way.  Conversations are sometimes possible; her fear of strangers subsides a bit; and while her mobility is limited, she still seems to enjoy seeing life from a different perspective.

As I look at these first two pictures, I wonder if this is what it feels like to be inside of her head.  Yes, she admires the beauty of The Lighthouse and The Snow Geese, and at the same time things are still a bit our of focus.  They're there in the distance, and she has to fight her way through the rest of it in order to appreciate them.  Some days more than others, it's more challenging to find her way through all of it.
Mom admiring The Bodie Island Lighthouse.
Migrating Snow Geese at Pea Island. 
I appreciate the moments of clarity.
Her smile is genuine, and the look in her eyes tells me that
she's fully present.
The travel took a lot out of her, and by the end of our trip,
her disease reclaimed her with a vengeance.  
On our way home, we toured Ocracoke.  Our first stop was at
Eduardo's where she was able to greet the man who provided
us with so many delicious lovingly prepared meals.
No trip to Ocracoke is complete without a visit to The Lighthouse.
I can't explain how happy I was to share the home of our
ReMe Retreats with her.  My parents were always supportive of my dreams,
and I'm grateful that she could be a part of this one.
Next stop was our private ReMe Retreats Sunset Spot.  
And finally, one quick stop at The Beach as we departed.
The look on our faces says it all to me.
We were both happy and content in the moment, and
I'll always treasure this trip.

To read more about how I learned about this opportunity, the
Ocracoke Community, and our Retreats on Ocracoke,please visit our 


  1. Oh Jean,

    I wept as I read this post. After caring for my own mother for 10 years, and becoming increasingly ill myself, I finally had to make the heartbreaking decision to place her in a nursing home (2 years ago next week). She is currently battling breast cancer and undergoing radiation at 81 years of age, all the while she is in NY and I am in GA and unable to be with her in person. It breaks my heart, and although my mother's health issues are different than your mom's, I can completely appreciate what it is like to become the caregiver, no longer the child, and to cherish those moments when they are truly present with us. I would give anything to be able to take my Mom in a ReMe retreat and have that precious time together and I am so happy for you that you were able to share this special time and place with your mom. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and please know that I am keeping you and your Mom in my prayers in a special way.


    1. Oh Maureen, thank you for sharing your story with me! I'm sorry that we have this in common, and yet somehow it helps to know that none of us are in it alone. You and your Mom are in my prayers too. I hope that there are still many precious memories to share for all of us, and that we'll have the opportunity to meet in person one a ReMe Retreat or otherwise. <3