Flowers, Wockner Hospice Center Gardens. Kirkland, Washington. August 1, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.
Flowers photographed in the Commemorative Garden at the Gene and Irene Wockner Hospice Center, Kirkland, Washington.
During the past week and a half I spent a great deal of time in view of the beautiful and quiet garden in which these flowers were found. I think they are lilies, but I'm not the world's greatest flower identifier (to say the least!), and I would welcome an accurate identification from anyone who knows. After looking at the garden from indoors for a week, I finally decided to take a slow and quite walk through it one afternoon, and I made a few photographs as a sort of meditation.
The reason I was at this place was not, of course, a happy one. My mother, Elinor Danforth Mitchell, entered the hospice a week and a half ago after suffering a serious stroke at the age of 93, a stroke that was the sort she was undoubtedly thinking about when she gave us advance instructions (which was so like her!) about what to do should this happen. She not only lived to 93 (like her sister "Dolly," and her mother Nora), but she was amazingly resilient as she faced a series of challenges during the past few decades, beginning with the loss of her husband, Richard S. Mitchell, over 20 years ago and continuing with health challenges including arthritis and macular degeneration that left her nearly blind. (A bright spot though - in the past month or two, a procedure she had earlier this year had actually given her back some of her sight, much to the amazement of all of us and much to her pleasure.) Through it all, she remained as positive as she had always been. About her blindness, she had said that getting angry or depressed wouldn't help, so she was just going to accept it and move forward - and she did. So in her eighties she figured out how to be almost completely self-sufficient in her apartment, and people who met her often did not even realize at first that she had lost her sight. Perhaps most important to her, she kept her mental acuity right up until her stroke. She could - and frequently would! - recite the birthdays of four children, four children-in-law, eleven grand children and more. As my sister wrote recently, she could probably tell you, to the penny, what she paid for the Thanksgiving turkey in 1976!
All four of her children were scheduled to visit to help her with a move from her apartment to new living arrangements, and two were to arrive on the day of her stroke. This meant that all four of us were able to be with her during the week and a half until she passed away quietly on August 2, 2012.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific
coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra
Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.