Joy, Love, Memories, Music, Videos

a magical musical alzheimer gift

June 2, 2014: When Eric arrives at my place at 1:30 p.m., Mom is still asleep. She’s been dead to the world for the last three hours–sedated by the antipsychotics she shouldn’t be given but nevertheless is every morning and again late in the afternoon.

Once Eric sits down in front of her and starts to play, she slowly emerges from the drug fog. Eventually she leans forward, reaches for the neck of the guitar and Eric’s hand. He responds immediately: moves closer, suggests she have a strum on the strings.

If ever two people were in tune with a moment it’s them: Mom wanting to touch the music, Eric offering her the ability to do so. He plays a few chords, hums part of a melody or whispers the semblance of some words; Mom joins in with her own voice, a clap of her hands or a gesture in time with the music. These are simple things. Basic things. Heretofore-unremarkable things. Things without which I surely would not have survived the past six months.

The time the three of us spend together singing, playing, improvising and being present weaves a thread of joy through the tattered fabric of my mother’s life. It also enables me to endure the cesspool of this disease and have the strength to bear witness to the daily new ravages her situation wreaks upon her. These fleeting moments, minutes and hours are miraculous. Within a divine musical space our unlikely trio has co-created a transformational in-the-now symphony, the beauty of which is beyond compare.

We’ve sung the old songs she knows best, and Beatles songs I never knew she knew. Until very recently she remembered the lyrics to literally hundreds of songs. Those memories are fading now as her language skills further diminish. But there’s still joy to be had as you will see in the video below. Besides our own voices, today’s instruments include maracas, a traditional American aboriginal flute and Eric’s holy (and holey :P) guitar

Our tripartite jam session is a magical gift amidst the despair. Thank you god, angels and the universe for the blessing of musicHallelujah!

Subscribe to my free updates here.

10 thoughts on “a magical musical alzheimer gift”

    1. Perhaps she was; I don’t know. I will ask him. I do know for sure he is an earthbound angel 🙂

      Pinkie Patti is/was not an anti-war activist. She did however have some strong views about what the government of Iran did in 2009 and likely continues to do to this day; she expressed them at these links:

      I posted Serena Ryder’s cover of Ed McCurdy’s 1950s tune on several years ago here:

      Excerpted from Wikipedia about Ed McCurdy (

      “His widely covered anti-war classic, “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream”, has been recorded in seventy-six languages (including covers by Johnny Cash in 2002, Garth Brooks in 2005, and Serena Ryder in 2006). In November 1989, as Tom Brokaw stood on top of the Berlin Wall, he directed his NBC-TV cameras towards the school children on the East German side of the Berlin Wall, to show the children singing “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream” en masse as the wall was being dismantled.”

      I hope we all continue to have this strange dream and that one day it will be realized. The sooner the better.

      Thanks for your comment which prompted me to revisit all these links ❤


  1. Love your poetic phrasing: “Within a divine musical space our unlikely trio has co-created a transformational in-the-now symphony, the beauty of which is beyond compare.”


  2. Hallelujah! You write so beautifully…describing the indescribable…putting words and images reflecting magical…spiritual moments… nurturing the souls…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s