Mom Starts Losing Memories – Son’s Creative Solution To Preserving Them Will Break Your Heart
Tony Luciani has always been close to his mother, so when she fell and broke her hip, he volunteered to help take care of her. He didn’t want her going to a nursing home to recover, and since he works from home, he had time to care for her.
While he was caring for her, he noticed that her memory was slowly slipping away.
Tony had just bought a new camera and was playing with it when he noticed that his mom seemed curious about it. He caught her peeking around the corner and watching him with the camera several times. He decided he was going to take photos of her.
He started to take photos of his mom peaking at him, and when she found out, she decided to give him a little show. Tony said:
“Then she jumped out in front and put her hands up in the air and started going ‘blah blah blah blah!’ and then waved. And I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is so great.”
He decided to make his mom the topic of his first photo series.
He called it “Mamma in the Meantime.” It was a fun way for him and his mother to bond and spend time together, and it helped with her recovery.
“It got to the point where I’d be painting, and she’d come over to me and say, ‘OK, I’m bored. Let’s do some pictures.’ She’d tell me these stories, and I would jot the ideas down and come up with visuals in my head.”
He took the stories that she could remember, and he turned them into amazing photos that they could both enjoy. It was a way for her to look back and remember her life and a way for him to connect with her and see a different side of his mother.
“What she remembers most is when she was a little girl. She doesn’t remember what happened 10 minutes ago, but she does remember what happened 70, 80 years ago.”
There were also a lot of things he remembers his mother saying she had wanted to do and never got to, such as traveling to far-off places.
He decided to make that happen for her with his photography. He started Photoshopping her into different places.
He created a photo of her riding a camel in Egypt, taking a selfie in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris, and standing on top of the Great Wall of China. She enjoyed looking at the photos and seeing herself in all these amazing places.
These photos have allowed him to not only reconnect with his mother, but connect with other photographers, as well. He has posted the photos in many photography forums, and he has gotten a lot of positive feedback. A lot of them say that they wish they would have done the same with their own parents.
“I had photographers saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I wish I had done that with my mother or grandmother, but I will do that with my aunt or another loved one.’ I think I encouraged people just by posting my photos.”
His mother has now lost most of her memory and doesn’t even know his name.
That makes him all the more thankful that he took the time to photograph her and have fun with her while she was still able to enjoy it. He hopes that his photos and story will help other caregivers appreciate what they have more and maybe inspire them to do something similar and just make the most of their time with loved ones.
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