My mom spent several decades taking classes and making representational art, working in pastels, pencil, and pen. After her diagnosis with Alzheimer’s in 2007-2008, she continued drawing and coloring frequently. Around 2010, she developed a unique style that she explored in depth over the next few years. She was fascinated with people, with shapes, with color, and with her life in Palm Beach, FL. Hardly a day went by without driving by the ocean, stopping to look at the freighters and sailboats offshore. Close observers will also see evidence of her love of golf and tennis, too. I find these fascinating and hope you do as well.

In the months before she died, she spoke to me many times about her ALZ, as we called it for short. She really wanted people to know that it’s not a bad thing. That she learned how to accept help from others. She went from being proudly self-reliant to loving being waited on. She learned to seek out the fun – “If it’s not fun, we’re not doing it!” And I learned to be able to turn off the phone and computer and enjoy sitting still with her as we colored and drew for hours. She was famous in our family for hosting an annual “Coloring Contest and Ice Cream Social” during the family reunion at the beach in South Carolina. Her hostess skills were perfectly on display – an activity that fed the competitive urges of our extended family and that also kept the little kids occupied without much supervision. Ending it all with ice cream! How does life get any better than that?

~ Roxanne

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