Art from the right side
August 17, 2016 § Leave a comment
This is one of the art walls from the regular Wednesday morning class at Insight Memory Care Center, Fairfax, Virginia, masterpieces created with love and passion from participants with disorganized brains at different competency levels.
Insight is my dear husband’s day care center. Three times a week, his reports of daily activities are vague since he cannot retrieve descriptive words. This center is enriching his life by giving him opportunities to face each day with enthusiasm and renewed interest. He is always looking ahead. It is a priceless experience encouraging participants to use the skills and abilities they still possess. They cannot reflect on what’s lost. Even when he tells me that he was sitting around in the late afternoon and it was ‘boring,’ I am so glad that he is in the company of so many people who care, the staff, and the participants, some just like him, well educated professionals whose life paths have take unexpected turns.
When I learned that the art program was on a day that he did not attend, I changed his schedule. My gratitude goes to the art therapists and instructors who lead art groups everywhere. My husband says that the artists tell him “what to do next,” one session at a time with no pressure to hurry up and quickly finish.
He wakes me at dawn so there’s no chance that he’ll be late to the Center and miss the class. At first he was complaining that he was the only ‘boy’ but I think there’s more now among the classmates. Head down, marker in hand, he’s busy at work.
When participants tire themselves out searching for words, let them find self expression using colored markers and crayons. My dear husband will soon compete with me for wall space in our home! These are his works of art.
Without rational thought, he does not evaluate or criticize. He is compliant and happiest when he performs on someone else’s cues, meets their expectations. He is free to just color, enjoy the moment, not judge – something good to write about having a brain in decline. I am so proud of him and often tell him so! Yesterday he came off the bus that brings him home at the end of the day and with tears in his eyes, he told me how happy he was to see me and that he loves me. There are blessings on the rough road.