Our next uac event on First Friday July 2nd at Willo North Gallery is special to me, not only because my friend Robrt Pela will be the guest speaker, reading a series of personal stories about caring for his mother, who is living with Alzheimer’s disease, but because I know his mom. I only got to know Mary Pela about a year ago, when Robrt asked me if I could cut her hair (something I always say "I used to do in a past life.")
Over the years I have met lots of people's moms this way, and I always feel honored that they would ask me into their homes, because I really like old people. They have rich histories and tell wonderful stories.
On our first encounter Mary was very concerned that I would cut her hair too short. She asked several times how much I was taking off, and I reassured her several times, "just a trim." I knew she had forgotten that she asked me just a few minutes ago. When I had finished, she seemed stressed. It was a long time for her to have to sit and wonder what I was doing. Her hands moved delicately to her face as she rested for a moment, her long, slender fingers over her eyes. I felt upset that I was the source of her uncomfortableness. But when I was leaving she was so kind, she stood up and shook my hand and said it was so nice to meet me (something she tells me each time we see each other) and smiled. She made me smile too.
I hope people come to the Alzheimer's Benefit so they can learn more through Robrt's eyes about the person Mary Pela is.