What memory during 2020 do you most treasure? That you would protect as if it were a fragile silhouette? That you would hold fast in rust-proof memory even if everything else about the past year could be forgotten?

My most loved memory is of my elderly mother’s smile in a moment of simple joy.

After many months of in-home sequestration at her home in Southern California, my mother’s silver locks had grown so long that her natural wave had flattened. Much worse, an excruciating back ailment and major surgery to fix it weighed heavily. She soldiered on, wan and usually with patience. We counted her blessings that she was COVID-free despite spending eight days in the hospital and two weeks in a convalescent facility.

My mom returned home. Her post-op pain varied day by day, but only slightly. One choice was within her control, however; we scheduled a protective in-home appointment that graced her with a mood- and height-lifting haircut. She smiled upon feeling the returned texture and instance of normalcy. And in that moment, I realized: I had not seen my Mom smile for some time. I snapped a photo that is unworthy of a photography award but is a prized, private keepsake.

Recovery continues, and I believe that her decision on that October day mattered. She chose to do something that could have brought roaring pain. Instead, her choice flipped-on the switch of joy that overpowered her troubles for as long as the day granted her a reprieve. That, in a proverbial nutshell, is my 20/20 view of 2020, and it is the most-loved memory I will carry into 2021.

By the way, we found excellent in-home personal care priced so that care can be customized hourly, not only in four-hour shifts. I highly recommend Home Instead Senior Care, which is a national agency with local franchises.

What one memory of a person, experienced during 2020, do you most treasure? I’d love to hear about it.

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