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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: A meaningful day with an aging mother

By JOHN HALL/MISSOURIAN READER
May 23, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
John Hall stands with his grandson K.C. Pescaglia at an MU graduation ceremony.

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years. Hall was also recently featured in a Columbia Missourian article, in which he reminisced about his days as a bat boy in the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri Baseball League.

There was a game of catch in the backyard at my daughter's home on Mother's Day.  Everyone has heard of the rare baseball with signatures on it of the likes of Babe Ruth et al. that some youngster took out and played with and lost. Here, my 21-year-old grandson, Vincent, had just learned, after a long session of playing catch, that the ball he selected was one his father got at the first game of the 2011 World Series in St. Louis. Vincent is reportedly progressing nicely and expects to be released from the hospital in a few days.

Early Mother's Day, a visit was paid to my mother at a local nursing home. This was the 77th time she has celebrated that day as a mother. It was a special day. Upon arrival at the nursing home my wife and I were met by a big smile from her. Surprisingly, she called my wife by her first name and shortly afterward she recognized me. That was a feat she hadn't accomplished for nearly a year.

She spoke as if there had never been any loss of memory. She even asked about her daughters, and I called each of them and let her speak with the ones I could reach. Her retention level of anything ever said has averaged less than a second for a very long time. On this day it was as if she had "never gone away." It was a special Mother's Day gift from her to her children. It was as if someone had written a novel and mother had worked out of the fog of the last handful of years. Sadly, the next day she had ascended to the state from which she came.

(If you can't see the photo slideshow embedded above, view it on Flickr here. )

For most women there just isn't such a thing as "too many purses." In one of these pictures, my first and only wife holds high her 5,479th purse. Soon, a new room is going to be added to the house to accommodate all that leather and vinyl. Even the bluebirds came around to take a look at the purse and asked if they could rent it for their summer home.

Mother's Day without flowers isn't legitimate. So, my wife got one Vermiliad, which requires very little care.  It only asks for three ice cubes a week for sustenance.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.