StoryCorps Door-to-Door recently went to West Virginia to visit Genesis HealthCare’s Marmet Center, a wonderful center that provides patients and residents clinical care in a warm and comfortable setting. We recorded twelve interviews as part of StoryCorps’ Memory Loss Initiative.
One of the interviews recorded was between Jennifer Jones and her mother, Mary Pletka, who shared memories of her childhood, 1970s fashion, having children, and her career in vacuum sales. The women also discussed how Mary’s diagnosis with early on-set Alzheimer’s disease affected her work and life with her family. Initially, Mary resisted the idea of a future in which her children would take care of her; she had always been the one to support them. “What I learned is don’t worry about tomorrow,” she said. “Worry about today only, and take each day one at a time.”
Sometimes, a mother’s strength of character can be seen in her personality and in the family she has raised. But sometimes, it is just by letting go and accepting the love of her family that makes a mother stronger for her family.