I sit in a cushioned chair at the end of two industrial dining tables pushed together waiting for my mother. After a few minutes, she comes through the door pushing her walker, looking small in the cavernous room, a young woman with long brown hair and wearing colorful scrubs at her elbow.
Before the pandemic, it used to be the dining room. Now the tables and chairs are piled around the edges of the room. A temporary wall divides the space so two residents of the Assisted Living Community can have visitors at the same time.
I already had my temperature taken and signed the papers with all the standard Corona Virus questions.
“I feel like royalty,” I say to the tall woman orchestrating it all, as she leads me to the long table with a chair at either end. It’s like one of those British movies where the rich couple sit on opposite ends of the long table meant for more than two people.
She laughs almost relieved, “Oh that’s good,” she says “I like that”. I get the feeling she expected me to say something else.
My mother had been in Assisted Living about a month. This was the first time I visited her since she moved. I had to put my glasses on to see her across the table. I felt like we were yelling trying to be heard through our masks and across the distance.
Talking has always been difficult between my mother and me. In a way, these new obstacles at least gave a tangible reason for it.
We talk for forty-five minutes until the tall woman comes back in the room and says it’s time for my mother to go. I wait for the aid to come in and lead her out of the room before I leave.
Although the place where my mother is living is very nice in so many ways, and she seems to be very comfortable, even happy there, I was reminded of the time visiting my ex-brother-in-law in prison.
I didn’t cry till I got back in my car.
In the past few years I haven’t seen a lot of my mother even though she lived only a little over an hour away. Now she’s now living in a very nice place where she’s getting the care she needs. So it isn’t as if our relationship is much altered by her move.
But it was sad to actually see her in this new and final stage in her life.
I visited my mother about three weeks ago and knew that I wanted to include the visit on my Corona Kimono. But it wasn’t until today that I could get myself to draw the image that came to my mind and commit it to thread.
4 thoughts on “Corona Kimono 10/21/20”
Fantastic. Great contrast between the demonstrator exposing her most intimate self to a hostile (and likely conflicted) police force out of defiance and the women, on the opposite sleeve, at a distance from one another in an attempt to connect, if not to achieve intimacy, despite undercurrents of conflict. Lots of bridges and attempts to cross them. So much happening. Such a powerful work of art Maria.
Donna, I didn’t even see that. I think I’m too close to this piece to see the nuances sometimes. Thanks for your insight.
to me you are brilliant, Maria. your humanity, your art, your awareness of your surroundings. I love this place that you keep. it nourishes. xo Diane
Thank you Diane, that means so much to me.