Pinkie Patti and the Piano Man

Mom piano hands“Do you want to try playing Ms Patti?” Eric the Piano Man questions, gentle yet intent.

“I don’t think I can. I don’t know how,” Mom replies.

She adores singing, knows the words to hundreds of songs, still remembers them mostly. But she never learned to read music or play an instrument.

Now she’s 85 and in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Her language skills are beginning to evaporate – she rarely completes a sentence anymore. It seems unlikely she should be able to play the piano at this stage, even as she’s coming ’round the mountain.

Eric is undeterred.

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Dead to the World

Sleeping Woman (1935) A beautiful piece of art by Tamara de  Lempicka (see link below)

Sleeping Woman (1935) A beautiful piece of art by Tamara de Lempicka (see link below)

Eyes open.
A thought bubbles to the surface:
“I’m awake.”
Awareness skips
across my consciousness
forcing me to stir.
I resist.

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Merry Christmas from Mom & me

Merry Christmas from Pinkie Patti and I in frosty and frozen Canada to you, wherever in the world you are.

(It’s amazing what you can do when you try…)

I See You and Me. And Love.

This is a second short video for the What I See project.

The first one, “What We See,” was made in collaboration with 21 friends from around the world.

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85 And Feistier Than Ever

AWR celebrate life“Pretty good for the old girl,” is Mom’s standard response to “How are you Patti?”

And yeah, she it pretty damn good for 85, which she turned today.

She’s an amazing woman who inspires me every day with her courage, determination, and ability to prevail.

(She also drives me crazy on occasion!)

Until recently, I wished she could see me more clearly. But I’ve come to terms with her incapacity to do so, and, as a result, discovered unconditional love. What a priceless gift.

I’m grateful to her for being such an inspiring role model, I couldn’t have asked for better. Continue reading

Loving Words at Sunset

Patti and Gaby

My Mom Patti (left), and her friend Gaby (right)

My Mom, Patti, soon to be 85 and in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease, can’t really carry on a “sensible” conversation anymore.

Mom’s friend Gaby is 97. While Mom has lost most of her marbles, Gaby still has all but a few of hers.

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You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings

CrackerJacks thank you“DITTO!” was all it took to bring tears to me eyes.

You wouldn’t think one word at the end of a tweet from someone you don’t “know,” retweeted by someone else you don’t “know,” would make you cry. But it did.

Actually, to be honest, it was the combination of the tweet, the “DITTO!”, and the tune to which the tweet linked that made me cry.

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Mothers, Daughters & Bad Hair Days

Silver me summer 2013

Silver me summer 2013

“Oh Punkie! “ (That’s my nickname.) “I’m so glad to see you! You look great! I love your hair,” Mom would say every time I came to see her.

Or at least that’s what I wished she would have said.

To be fair, I usually did get the “I’m so glad to see you part.” It was what invariably followed that cut like a knife.

“Your hair’s so short. What did you do to it? I like it so much better a bit longer.” Or: “Your hair’s so long… Don’t you think it’s time for a cut?” Or: “When did you start parting your hair on the left? I think it suits you better on the right, don’t you?” Or: “When did you start parting your hair on the right? It’s so cute when you do it on the left. Here let me show you…”

Yes, there has always been something wrong with my hair, it was too long, too short, too curly, too straight, too recently cut, not cut recently enough, better up, better down, and/or better the way it was last time, even though last time it had been so much better the time before that. Continue reading

15 Empowering Things to Tell Your Kids (and Yourself)

AWR say I love u a lotAbout a year ago, I was cracking up (not in a good way). I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So I did both. Often. And intensely.

I had been caring for my then 83-year-old mother with insufficient support for about eight months, and I was about to lose the plot, cash in my chips, throw in the towel, give up the ghost.

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