Lost Lady of Penwith

I did these roughs for a comic, in my sketchbook, about an affecting episode that happened last week. I wanted to draw this from from memory with no reference materials. I’ve changed some names and details to protect the identity of the main character (I hope): [click to view more clearly]

I felt it was too intrusive to ask what was wrong with ‘Diana’. But I presumed (perhaps wrongly) that it was a form of Dementia or Alzheimers. Diana might have been quite happy, so perhaps my sadness was some sort of personal projection onto the situation.

Afterwards we went to Porthcurno and saw dolphins; I felt thankful for my own lucidity and relative good health. Not sure if I’ll go on to ink this up – just wanted to share it.

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9 thoughts on “Lost Lady of Penwith

  1. Yes! Ink it up Paula, this is lovely. My Dad had Alzheimer’s, and this rings so true. He often went wandering down the main road near his home, and every so often someone would bring him back. I was always curious to know more about the people that did – now I do!

    • Thanks John! At first I wasn’t sure if we were doing the right thing. But she seemed sure she needed taking home and looked exhausted. I didn’t want to interrupt her lovely walk, either, though.

  2. Yes you totally did the right thing. It makes me mad that the “care” home was so casual about it. She could have gotten lost for a much longer time, fallen down, etc. Even if she doesn’t remember anything about that day, you did a beautiful, helpful thing. Also I love the comic. I think it would be great if you got a chance to ink it.

    • Thank you Sarah. I felt fairly mad, too, but thought it was enough that we’d got her home and left it at that. The roads are extremely narrow in that area, with sharp bends, and idiot drivers. I didn’t realise we had such a problem until I saw the belt around her neck – that was what really alerted me to the fact that she was probably ill. And, of course, I thought of your book and tried to remember your way of dealing with your mother i.e. trying not to be patronising or alarmist in any way (despite being worried we might have trouble finding out where she was from).

  3. What a sad and poignant little interlude in your holiday. I wonder what the belt was all about (initially I read it as ‘bell’ and started making all kinds of unfair judgements about the creepiness of the care home! Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.

  4. Bless you for stopping and caring about her. But your last thoughts were on my mind throughout reading this. Not having any children of my own, I wonder often if I’ll have anyone to care as much when I grow older. It’s sobering and sad. What a bittersweet experience.

  5. My dear friend’s mother is in the late stages of either alzheimers or demensia (I always mix up the two). This story struck me because it is so much like her. Thank you for taking care of her. I know if our precious Carol was out lost we would hope for someone to take her back home as well. It is quite sad. She is very sweet and laughs a lot, but its heart breaking to watch her. You describe the conflict of emotions perfectly when you say that you felt sad in spite of the fact that she seemed happy.

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