Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Mitchell's

So the other day I wrote a post about my mom and what's been going on in my heart and in our lives in regards to her Alzheimers lately. I've written about this before here and here. The support my family received from you all was AMAZING. I mean, truly humbling. Not only does writting out how I'm feeling help - it's cathartic  but it also lets people get a glimpse into our lives as we live with this disease. As a family, it is obvious that we are supported and that other people have gone through such similar things - it's heartbreaking to hear that other people have had to work through these same feelings - Of course they do, and it's obvious they would, but I hate to hear that they have to. 

I wrote the post about my mom on Tuesday after a particularly hard day for my parents the day before. By Wednesday my mom's physical health was actually doing better and by the time I saw her on Thursday evening she was in great spirits. Now she is still in the same boat, but she was no longer in a lot of physical pain. Praise the Lord. Thursday night I picked my mom up and we went to hang out at my sister's. On our way I reminded my mom of a story - she laughed and laughed at the punch line.  

Then Friday I met up with Jenna and Austin, and my mom and her 2 day a week caregiver and friend Leanne. We spent the morning floating and swimming at the pool and then grabbed coffee with a family friend, Alice. It was so nice to spend the time with my ladies without having to care for my mom. I am so thankful for Leanne. This way I got to enjoy my mom and enjoy Jenna and enjoy Alice without struggling to know how to care for mom. What a blessing. While we were together I reminded mom about the story I'd told the day before, and she laughed and laughed like she'd never heard it before. 

Friday afternoon we were having our big family photo shoot - on our way to do so I was telling my dad that same story and when mom heard it she laughed and laughed and laughed. Our wonderful friends, Nick and Laura Froese, were our photographers for the day (thank you to both of them for being the best). Laura was asking me if we had any tricks planned for making my mom laugh and smile like we did the last time we did a photo shoot with them. It made me think - maybe the same story I'd been telling all week to mom with great success? Well let me tell you - I told that same story/joke with punch line to my mom during our photo shoot at least 8 times - and since she knows the story so well (since she was a part of it originally when it happened) I could usually get away with telling just the punchline and she would laugh and laugh and laugh. Almost every laughing shot of her in the photo shoot is because I'd just told that story. Thank you Alzheimers for the help :)

So before I show you the shots - I should probably tell you the story: We have had various cats over the years who have all died. Very sad. We used to have Callie, or "Prince Callie, marvellous he, Callie of our house" as he was mostly known after Alladin came out. When I was young (somewhere under 10) my Dad was backing out of the driveway on a raining day to pick us kids and Mom up at a rehearsal across town. He was watching for Callie and made sure Callie got out of the way before backing up, but sadly Callie ran right back under the car and was killed. My Dad was so sad. He wrapped Callie up in a garbage bag and left her in the garage. He came to get us and on the way home they shared the very bad news. This day is the only day I have seen my Dad cry. We all cried. We gathered around Callie in the garage and cried together. We came inside and told Callie stories. We were a sad little group. 

My mom wanted to cheer us up after a while, so she said there was a saying, "It is better to have loved...." At this point I interrupted  excited to know the saying she was about to say! "Mom, I know this one, can I say it?" She was happy to let me fill in. 

Side note: I recognized this saying from a joke book my parents had given me at Valentines Day. I was under 10, so that explains why a) I didn't think it was weird my mom was going to quote a joke book at our little funeral or b) why what I was about to say made no sense to the situation at all. 

The quote should be: "It is better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all"

or as my joke book states: "It is better to have loved a short man, than to never have loved a tall"

Cue uproarious laughter from the little group of us - it was unexpected, and in our grief it was funnier than it should have been. To this day we still laugh at it regularly, and it's a story I can tell my mom many times and always get a good belly laugh out of her. 

We have been trying for 6 months to make these happen and wanted to get them before my Mom's disease progressed further. Something has come up every time and now we're in rainy season, which delayed our last shoot. It is a miracle that the timing and weather came through for this, just in time for my mom to be feeling better. God is truly a great God. So without further ado: here are some of our family photos.

Mom & Dad

The original Mitchell's

The Mitchell, Morgan's and Maxwell's

Mitchell's with the grandkids

Grandpa love

The lot of us

Dad with his daughters

Dad with his "sons"

Maxwell's with Mitchell's

Classic Maxwell's

With the boys running; as in real life

Mom with boys

Morgan's with the Mitchell's

Classic P&T photo


With our special guys

We love a good piggy back shot!

Here's us at our engagement, Fall 2009 and now, Fall 2013

And of course, I'll leave you with the best...

**These photos are all by Paraphrase Productions - they are AMAZING to work with and captured our family so well. 
Thank you Nick and Laura for making this a wonderful expereince**


Paraphrase said...

Love it! Your family is the bomb :)

The Porters' Lodge said...

these pictures are awesome! I miss you guys so much. And I love that you had them done at Granville Island -- so special to your parents.

I really need to get off my ass and organise our Cambridge family photo shoot before the weather gets crap. Thanks for the inspiration.


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