The Mom Photo Essay Project On Instagram: Fourteen

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(Photo date 8/29/15). I've learned something new about my mother. Maybe I didn't learn something new – rather, several things have come together, things I already knew, but have given me a new insight into my mom. My mom spends most of her days sitting in her chair: going through all her mail (she's on every GOP/Tea Party mailing list); reading magazines; doing word-search & crossword puzzles. Now & then her phone rings. Not as often as it once did. She says she's lonely, that she hates not having things to do. About two months ago, a paid 'companion' (Diane) started coming one day a week, for four hours – the idea was to get mom out & about, and to let Julian & I have a little time together. But, it's not going so well. Mom likes Diane very much. But mom is thinking of canceling the outings. Mom doesn't want to pay someone to sit & visit, she wants to do something if she's going to pay someone (a valid point). What I've learned is that my mom isn't a 'doer'. She's a 'visitor'. People always talk about my mom being constantly on the go (back in the day). But, really, she wasn't. She was on her way to someone else's home, to sit & visit – my brother & I in tow. We didn't do things often. Just visit. I went to the zoo for the first time on a 6th grade field trip; the Science museum in 8th or 9th grade (again: school field trip). We didn't go to movies, museums. We went to the amusement park once a year (during the 70s), where my dad's employer had the annual company picnic. Mostly we visited. Mom went to other people's homes to sit & talk. When Diane comes, she says "where do you want to go?" Mom has no answer. She doesn't want to get out & do things, yet she doesn't want to sit & talk. She wants to visit. The downside to being almost 92: the people in town who she used to visit are all gone – moved away or passed away. So she does word puzzles to pass the time.

A post shared by John Francis Nooney (@john_francis_nooney) on

3 thoughts on “The Mom Photo Essay Project On Instagram: Fourteen

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    1. I’m learning that many parents during the 50s-70s seemed to enjoy visiting. It seemed normal to me at the time. But then I started thinking about all the people who talked about how “active” my mom was, and I began to think about it in terms of what “active” would mean today. Which is rather different than what “active” meant back then. But, I don’t think I ever realized that my mom wasn’t really that active … she was social. I think that’s what is harder for her as she gets older – the lack of social contact, rather than the lack of ‘activity.’


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