Hope, Joy, Love, Music

mom’s 2012 irish medley


The Georgeville Neighbours’ Lunch was held (probably still is) the third Thursday of every month starting in late fall and running through to early spring. Mom usually went with her long-time friend Margery, who picked Mom up on her way to the event. Margery was a good friend to Mom. Good friends often become fewer and farther between for people who live with dementia.

When our angel Caroline joined Mom and I, she and Mom went to the Neighbours’ Lunches together. Sometimes I tagged along. The March 2012 lunch was on the 15th, two days before St. Patrick’s Day. Caroline helped Mom get “dolled up” in her best festive green gear, and before they left for the lunch Mom treated us to an impromptu concert in the living room. She didn’t remember all the words to the tunes, but that didn’t matter. It was such a joyful time. Mom sang beautifully and hammed it up, Caroline laughed so hard her cheeks hurt, and I captured what I could on my iPhone. (I’m so grateful for technology.)

By March 2012, Mom had lost her driver’s licence (the spring before), and she needed someone (either Caroline or I) to be with her all the time. She hadn’t been able to cook for herself, with the exception of making toast and tea, for more than a year. Nevertheless, she was still fully engaged with life and the people around her. In the video, you’ll see a puzzle on the table in the background, it’s a big-pieces jigsaw puzzle of Canada. We must have completed that puzzle 25 times during our last year together in her own home. Even Pia, Mom’s long-haired grey cat, got in the act.

I wish I could sing like Mom did. She knew hundreds of songs, a few of which I learned from her during her last years. She and I sang up until a couple of days before she died. Music saved our sanity; it also brought us both happiness and healing. I hope you enjoy this Irish medley as much now as we did in 2012. And oh yeah, Happy St. Patrick’s Day 🙂

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Advocacy, Antipsychotic drugs, Love, Music

my wild irish rose


St. Patrick’s Day was a special day for Mom, not just because she loved Irish music, but because she was named Patricia, partly in honour of St. Patrick. This post is to honour her, her love of music, her love of all things Irish, and her joyful spirit–she was the life of the party for most of her time here.

The two-minute video also contains a powerful message with respect to the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medication to chemically restrain people who live with dementia. I hope you take a moment to reflect on the message, and even better to take action! I also invite you to compare Mom’s demeanour in this video, which I recorded in June 2014, with the one I took less than two years prior in March 2012 as she was getting ready to go to the Georgeville Neighbours’ Lunch.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2017. (P.S. 40 Seroquel side effects) 

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