My grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a couple of years ago, and last year my family made the difficult decision to move him to a care facility. He had been wandering out of the house in the middle of the night on freezing winter nights, and we were worried about his safety. In some ways, he loves living in the care facility…he’s very social and has a lot of friends there. He plays bingo and dances. But in other ways, he just wants to go home.
There isn’t much I can do to make him happier, but since he moved in I’ve been sending him cards. I mean A LOT of cards…almost every other day. When I traveled to Kenya, knowing I’d be gone and unable to write for a month, I wrote a stack of 25 cards, addressed and stamped them, and gave them to my mom to send for the duration of my trip.
When we visit my grandfather, the cards are everywhere…they’re all over his room, in all his clothes’ pockets, in his dresser, under the bed. I don’t know whether he can read them or not (likely not), but everyone likes getting mail, right?
Anyway, when I was in Kenya, I thought I would get some special cards to send to my grandpa. I found these in the gift shop at the National Museum in Nairobi, and I had to resist buying all of them. They are clearly hand painted, but there is no artist or brand listed anywhere on any of the cards. But aren’t they gorgeous?? I wish I could paint like this!
I walked up to the cashier with a giant stack of these cards, each one unique. She said, “You know these are 200 shillings (about 2 dollars US) each, right?” And I said, “Oh.” And then I painstakingly picked out three.
I wish I could acknowledge the artist!