Posts Tagged ‘alzheimer’s’

10 Second Photo

January 14, 2010 Leave a comment

As many of you know by now, my Grandma passed away last week.  She had severe Alzheimer’s, so it was an odd relief. I didn’t attend St. Andrew’s, but instead decided to expand on the story I told about Grandma at the service.  I’ll be in warm weather for the next two Sundays, so no updates here (but there will be for The Film Rumble Podcast).  Instead, donate to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Or text ‘HAITI’ to 990999 to make a $10 dollar donation to the Red Cross efforts (your carrier doesn’t take a cut, everything goes to the relief effort, however, Sprint is charging normal SMS rates).  Remember, donate money not materials, it’s a million times more helpful and useful.

Before Grandma was put into a nursing home, we each had to take turns watching her.  She had Alzheimer’s and she couldn’t be left alone.  Not that she would’ve intentionally burned the house down, but leaving the oven on, the hair curler plugged in, or messing with the breaker box and forgetting about it 10-seconds later wasn’t out of the question.  So, we’d go and sit with her.  Read a book, watch some TV—but nothing more complicated than the news or sketch comedy if you could help it, she’d get angry if she couldn’t remember what was going on—or do homework.  Sometimes you’d talk to Grandma, but it was really Grandma talking to herself.  Conversations with Grandma reset every few minutes, and you’d have to start from scratch.  They’d always trail off, or abruptly switch topics.

One day, Grandma had found some old photographs.  These ranged from pictures of my Dad and his siblings in elementary school to pictures of Grandma and her siblings growing up in Kentucky.  These stack of old photographs laid on the table in front of us, and Grandma picked them up, and started to tell me the stories of each photograph.  And not just, “this is your Dad in school” or “this is me growing up in Kentucky” but detailed stories of the day it was taken, the weather in Kentucky, the attitude of the subjects, the difficulties in getting people to sit still, and what they had for dinner.  For a woman who was convinced that I had a brother named Chris, the stories were impressive.  The attention to details, the funny anecdotes, and the slight laugh as she told the stories of how difficult my Dad and Uncle Timmy where in getting ready for school, all the detail built a wonderful family history.

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Is Anybody There? To Listen To My Story?

June 3, 2009 3 comments

mapleLearning a magic trick is hard.  I once theorized the magician had a connection to a parallel plane of existence – the Einstein-Rosen bridges – to send and receive object seemingly from thin air.  As always, the truth is a slightly less fanciful – the magician uses long sleeves, sleight of hand, and patter to hide objects from plain view.  Learning these tricks successfully takes a lot of practice and agility.  It is a lot like politics: use long sleeves, sleight of hand, and patter to make people think about the economy instead of national security.  It takes a lot of practice and agility to make this happen in politics, and as an avid campaigner for Barack Obama, I feel an affinity towards magicians. (Anyone staffing up for 2010?  Call me.)  Surprisingly, magicians and politicians get the same amount of respect, but magicians receive it positively (“It’s so cute he’s trying, but you’re becoming a doctor, Suzie.”) and politicians negatively (“At least they’re aren’t Nazis, but you’re becoming an engineer, Suzie.”).  But Is Anybody There? doesn’t care about politics, just magicians, it does show how long sleeves, sleight of hand, and patter can make growing old and dementia appear out of thin air.
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