make it up as you go along

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Flashback December 5, 2014: Mom surprises me every day. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes not so much. To keep moving forward when it’s good, and to not get stuck when it’s not, I’ve learned to make it up as we go along. Go with her flow has become my mantra.

Today, during our healing music session, Mom started singing about pumpkin pie, randomly inventing lyrics as she went. Eric, who is masterful at musical improv, followed her lead and the three of us were soon off on a silly musical adventure. I grabbed my phone and captured what I could of The Pumpkin Pie Song. When she wasn’t singing, Mom was clapping and thinking about what new lyric she might come up with next. I could see the concentration as well as the happiness in her eyes.

The whole process fully engaged her mentally, physically and emotionally; being able to contribute her own words made her feel successful and competent. I know all of this to be true because I can read her face and her body language and her energy. I see her. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at Mom and Eric’s creativity. Today, as I sit here typing, I have a great big foolish grin on my face.

Seeing Mom feeling happy and engaged in life despite the Alzheimer’s muck, mire and confusion is SO joyful it makes me smile just writing about it. This Alzheimer’s roller coaster is terrifying, and some of it really and truly sucks. But parts of it are also rich, rewarding and inspirational learning opportunities. And somehow we have to find ways to laugh and have fun. That’s why I keep sharing bits and pieces of our music sessions – to spread a bit of joy and bring a smile to your face too.

I hope it’s working 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

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10 Comments

    • Thanks Diane,

      A little over a year ago, I was forced to remove all references to my mother from the blog by the person who was responsible for her care. Now that she is gone and that person can’t threaten me with not being able to see her, I’m reposting all the “old” material as well as previously unpublished stuff. I’m glad you still enjoy the posts, and thanks as always for your support.

  1. What a lovely piece about finding joy and delight inside the spaces that exist in Alzheimer’s land. We are creative beings, waiting for opportunities to let it out. Your ability to make space for your mother to find her creative spark is beautiful.

  2. Fabulous! Such simple, yet joyful and special moments for you. Eric has an amazing way of matching her speed and style and pulling the music out of her. The connection is so real and lively. You can tell she enjoys it so much. I just love watching these videos, Susan. Thanks for letting us share your world. They always brighten my day.

    • Thanks Lou. Mom is generally happiest when she’s doing something, except of course when she’s tired and wants sleep.

      When she’s awake and I’m with her, I try to help her engage with life and people as much as she wants and as much as I can 🙂

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