Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Starting out year 2007

2007 began with the death of my beautiful, brave mother Florence. She died from complications of Alzheimers Disease, but not without living a 91 year fantastic life that was widely celebrated each year on her birthdays.
The past few years with her were amazing. Alzheimers is a difficult and incredibly grueling disease for families...but we actually had a wonderful time with my mother. Somewhere along the line, I saw a celebrity on television describing her father's battle with Alzheimers. He told his children..."please do not leave me alone." That resonated with me, and our family set about organizing mother's life so that she was never alone. She had activities, and friends all day, every day. She spent the weekends with me. My husband, who is a musician, wrote arrangements of her favorite jazz standards and we had wonderful sessions on Saturday nights after dinner where Russ (my husband) would play the piano, my brother John would play the drums, and mom and I would accompany them on the tambourine, sticks, or other percussion instruments. What happened was nothing short of a miracle. Sometimes mother would not know where she was, or who we were before we began. After a couple of tunes, something would happen and on top of just pure joy, she was thinking more clearly. I do plan to write more about this, and other activities that we enjoyed together in hopes that someone else might benefit from what I called "Swing Therapy" for my mother. Write me if you want to know more.


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