Three Things I Learned From Mom’s First Year in Assisted Living

The day I moved Mom into Assisted Living is still with me. It’s a scratch and sniff polaroid of a memory pinned to my forehead. Unlike other memories because of how holistically vivid it is. I remember every look, sound, smell as if it were all happening in slow motion.

Mom’s blank and helpless facial expression in the moments before we walked in for the first time is forever etched into my mind. I still hear her words and definitely still feel their sting. At random times I even see the way she smeared her lipstick into an upside down state of Florida as she wiped away her tears. And the waft of cigarette smoke from the lady walking her dog in the parking lot as we got out of the car is still under my nose.