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Drawing seems to calm Nancy
or maybe it distracts her
either way,
the result is the same.

Nancy was watching tv when we went to pick her up,
her face lit up in a smile
when I turned the corner,
and she got up as fast as I’ve seen her get up
in a long time.
She moves slower now, you see.

She seems to zone out more,
and today we saw mini-episodes
of what sure looked like OCD behavior
as she arranged everything from
pamphlets that Andy strategically placed
in the truck in hopes of keeping her from
taking his maps and receipts
and eyeglass cleaning cloths.
It worked,
but she didn’t especially like
where he put them
and then at the restaurant,
she saw fit to
take the fries off her plate
and neatly arrange them
on a napkin.


She tried to wrestle the sketchbooks
away from me in the car.
She likes to draw.


She began drawing like she did yesterday:
writing her name
or the word “love”
or a combination of the two
then encasing
and ultimately obscuring it.
My mother said she saw
birds and sometimes,
angels in the drawings today.


But by the time we left today,
her name (if that’s what she was writing)
was not legible.

Was she tired
or does it reflect how she
feels about herself
and her life?
Maybe the correct answer is
D) all of the above.


We saw turkeys on the driveway
to the cottage Nancy lives in.


And the sun was setting when we got
back to the hotel
to close out this Thanksgiving
with margaritas
and two loads of laundry.



She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.