Yesterday we shared memories of our ancestors. I had known from the beginning that I would need to come up with something. And I have written down thoughts here and there - but nothing major about anyway. I finally ended up sharing three stories that mom had shared about herself and a family member's name. Of course once the class was over, I have been able to come up with some other memories. Here is one:
My mom has never had a great sense of direction – at least since I’ve known her. Sometimes she would forget small things and exaggerate about things like, “having to drive around the world” when it had taken her longer to get to places than anticipated.
When she first was diagnosed with dementia, her children often wondered if it was still her personality that caused her to do things (or not do things) or if the dementia had taken over. We soon realized that it was her dementia.
One time Corey and Mom had gone over to Patrick and Sunnys’s house and were having dinner with the family. The topic at hand happened to be skydiving. Ellen and Kimball had experienced jumping out of an airplane in real life – and Candy had been saving her money so that she might go sky diving sometime in the future. I think they said Sunny had wanted to go, also.
They said mom all the sudden joined in the conversation. “You know I’ve been skydiving, too.” And then proceeded to go into detail about her experience.
Now, you must understand, my mom was fearful of heights. She didn’t even like to ride the sky ride (similar to a ski lift) at Lagoon (an amusement park in Farmington, Utah) because her legs were dangling. There is no way in real life she would have ever jumped out of an airplane.
But eventually the account she related came with such superior detail that even Corey had questioned it as he looked at the others and said, “Did she?” as each of the others shrugged.
Throughout the rest of her life she continued to tell her account of how she had “jumped out of a plane”.
Four months after we put her into assisted living, she met another resident of the facility. His name was Harold Martin and he had flown in small-uncovered airplane for real. He was fascinated by mom’s story and wish that he too had had the opportunity of skydiving.
He must have noticed that mom’s story varied a bit each time she told him. For what started out as a private jet with an instructor ended up a commercial airline that was going down, and the crew had insisted that each of the passengers jump out in order to be spared.
If mom had lived any longer, I think her story would have changed to being pushed rather than jumping of her own free will.