I can’t believe the Passover holiday is already so far behind us. It feels like a wonderful, warm memory. Mom couldn’t be at the Seder with us, but we sang one of her tunes that she learned while singing with her choir, Zemer Chai. In fact, it was a tune I searched for desperately but could not find. Not among Mom’s musical scores or on any website. In desperation, I contacted the choir, wondering if anyone would remember Mom. It turns out that there are still a few old-timer
“Should we wake her up?” I asked my daughter. Mom was sleeping soundly, her earphones planted on her ears playing her special mix of show tunes and Klezmer, her eyes tightly closed. How tired she must be, I thought, not to hear all the noise around her. The TV was babbling in Russian. Residents were talking in their intensive nonsensical ways. Two of the nurses were trying gently to extricate crayons from the mouth of one fellow. Another resident was calling loudly for lunch.
I was thankful to arrive home safe and sound after my two-week trip to China. Mom didn’t realize I’d been away. I’d been keeping track of events at home during my travels, so I knew that Mom had begun acting out almost every evening as she searched for her way “home,” pacing the floor in her house, desperately searching for the hidden staircase to a non-existent upstairs, and angrily shouting that she needed to leave. When my daughter Liora returned after a brief visit from m
Mom doesn't seem so excited to see me this morning. When I knock on the door, I hear my dad tell her a surprise visitor is arriving. And then it is just me standing there, a familiar face whom she can’t quite place. “Hi, Mom, your Miriam’s here,” I call as I give her a big hug. Ah, recognition. I make a point of showing Mom photos of the family when I come. I take out my phone and show her our latest pictures. There’s the one of the big fat cat that she adores. Here’s one fro
I knew they’d be hanging there, knew I’d have to share the paintings with others. Yet they still caught me by surprise. It’s my daughter’s last week in high school. As part of her graduation, Liora presented her 12th grade final art project. Rich in scope and imagination, the project focuses on Mom’s Alzheimer’s. Seven water colors, arrayed chronologically, recreate scenes from Mom’s life from her childhood to her engagement and marriage; to her motherhood; playing with her g
During my visit today, I interviewed Mom for my daughter’s final 12th grade art project. The multi-media piece will include drawings of Mom from different periods in her life that are partly out of focus, a fog machine that hinders sight, and the interview, looped to distraction. I asked a series of question over and over. What is your name? How old are you? How many children do you have? Where do you live? The discomfort Mom felt in answering these questions was evident. It