Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Harvey and my mom

October 28 visit
I'm trying to remember if my mom ever saw Harvey in person. I know my dad did, and have photos of dad with Harv. I wonder...

Mom and Harv
Whether she met Harv or not, mom does have a connection with him. Back in 1998 within a few months of buying Harv, he needed surgery on his sinus. I don't need to tell you that I was near-hysterical. I remember being unable to tell people about his surgery without fighting down heaving sobs -- I was so terrified of losing him. When I managed to spew out the news of Harv's situation to mom, her response was that "Harv will need a good warm blanket after the surgery." She sent me a  beautiful blue Dover blanket days later.

When his post-surgery nasal discharge was chapping his nostril badly, it was mom that told me to use Desitin to protect it. Funny, in retrospect, that no one else suggested this. Desitin seems to be in everyone's tack box now for scratches -- back then the vets didn't suggest it and the co-op, a barn full of experienced horse women, didn't mention it. We were using vaseline.

Polaroids of Harv's new blanket and
his Desitin-slathered nose, 1998
And it was mom who selected two of Harv's best photos and commissioned charcoal and  pencil drawing of Harv (I've shared the picture with you recently).

Mom now
So mom has moved into memory care this July, and when I visited her recently it was not entirely surprising that she did not know my name (she did know I am her daughter). Somehow that didn't bother me as much as you'd think. However -- one of the residents had owned horses, and we were chatting about it. I told the lady about Riley, and then turned to mom, wanting to involve her in the conversation. I said, "mom, what's the name of my other horse?" I really thought she would know. But she just looked away. That shook me up a little.  Mom knew Harvey, she really did. I could not believe that Harv was lost to her.

That is sad, but there is so much good news about mom. She seems content, and sometimes even happy in her new care facility. They play a lot of music for residents, like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett,  and Peggy Lee. Mom really lights up when she hears songs she knows. It's significant that she can sing some verses, because it's hard for her to hold a conversation. She sings the words to songs pretty darn smoothly. In a time in her life when so many things are unfamiliar to her, that must feel great.


  1. Stacey, thank you for a touching post about your lovely mom. It's neat to hear that she sent Harv a blanket after his surgery. I'm sorry that she's losing her memory but glad she's in a great place and seems content enough. That can be hard to achieve with memory loss. Warm thoughts to her and you!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I have been caring for my father the past few days due to my mother having surgery. Dad has dementia - when I asked him who I was, he said 'you're my niece'. But like your mom, he loves singing and remembers all the words.


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.