Friday, March 4, 2011

Joy of Family, Music, and Life

I've been away from this site over the past few weeks, with so much going on in my personal life.  Still, all is well.

Something I'm really grateful for these past few weeks is having some family visiting briefly on two separate occasions.

Mama's sister-in-law Jackie (my aunt) and Mama's nephew Curt (my cousin) came a few weeks ago from NC and spent a few hours one Saturday with us.  

Jackie was married to my mother's beloved brother, Curtis, who passed away a few years ago.   Curtis Jr. (Curt) looks so much like his father!   

It was wonderful seeing them again!!  

                                                            Aunt Jackie and Me

    Mama (showing off her grass skirt from a 
               past Hawaiian luau at her assisted living community) and Aunt Jackie 

Mama busy playing Pat Sajak's Lucky Letters...not into posing at the moment.

 Now she's ready......

 Me and my cousin Curt (I told him I still remember his BIG afro from back in the day!)

They felt strongly that Mama did not recognize them, though that did not stop Mama from enjoying their company.  I was surprised though that she did not recognize them.  

Mama pulled out her portable accordian photo album to show.   

When she came to a picture they all took together years ago at a family reunion (Uncle Curtis, Aunt Jackie, Mama, and Curt), Mama only referenced her brother, saying "He died from time to time."    

Even when Aunt Jackie pointed out to Mama that they were also in the picture and now right there in person, we could tell that Mama simply didn't get it.  Oh well.  It's okay.

It was a very sweet visit that did us all good.  Before I knew it, it was time for them to leave.  I really appreciate them coming.

And this week, my sister Andrea came to visit from TN for a couple a days.

Mama didn't recognize Andrea initially, but made the connection a little later fortunately.  That is good to know that she still recognizes her own daughter, though in time it is likely that she will not recognize either one of us.  

But for now, we are grateful that she does. 

Getting our names correct is a different story...she's swapped our names it seems.   But hey, that's not much different than many mothers without Alzheimer's, right?!  

Michael (my husband), Andrea, and I laughed together at some of the adventures this week with Mama...

.... like my mother going behind the counter at the laundromat/dry cleaners and taking a handful of sales receipts and slipping them in her purse the moment we turned our heads (we were there to wash some comforters).   

We didn't find out until AFTER we got back home.

Andrea return the receipts and said the lady working there was very understanding, though relieved that she wasn't losing her mind not being able to find the receipts! 

We had picked Mama up earlier that day after lunch to come spend the afternoon with us at my house.  Mama loves to be on the go.    It was great to all be there together. 

Of course, we had to continue watching Mama like a hawk.  

She poured herself some juice and tried to chase it with olive oil only to be stopped initially by Andrea.....and then later pour a second concoction when I had my back turned to her.   She was about to drink it when I noticed the oil in the juice. 

Mama was NOT a happy camper after that, and stormed off when I took the glass from her.   But like a child, her anger is intense, but passes and then she's back to being happy/content. 

Mama even helped out in the kitchen a bit by stirring the homemade cornbread batter as we enjoyed listening to some old Motown hits playing in the background. 

I feel that Mama really enjoyed herself overall that day with her family.   And I appreciated Andrea being there and helping out.  I know Mama appreciated it too.  

So all in all, another happy experience overall and happy memory for Mama even if she recalls it only briefly.    :)     I'd like to think that good feelings do have some mileage though.   :)

Here's to Mama, Family, Music, and Life.

Speaking of music....   
Mama's in a great picture that was featured in the Augusta Chronicle a few weeks ago. 

They had a local news crew out there too filming... so Mama was also seen on the local news!!  
She can't help being a star everywhere she goes!

                            Guest musicians come to perform at the Jud C. Hickey Center for Alzheimer's Care.    
I'm sure you see Mama there dancing with such gusto!
(and you see how Mama already started writing on newspaper clipping to give it to my sweet)

I LOVE YOU TOO MAMA!!!!     :)

Peace and Blessings,


Lisa said...

What a sweet post this was! I'm so glad you had a good time with visiting family and that your mama seemed to enjoy it. If I didn't say it before, I'll say it now--I admire your courage and commitment!

Carolee Sperry said...

You are such a strong person, Anita. I sensed you sounded a bit distracted when we spoke Wednesday....must be all the excitement going on!

Visiting from The Blogging Buddies

Have a happy and blessed weekend!

Come on home

Lisa B Carter Designs said...

Wow what a wonderful post this was to read! You are such a strong and loving person I am so very honored to call you MY friend! I hope it will be ok but I would like to share a link to your blog on mine. I know others will enjoy reading this as well.

Anita G. Houser said...

To Lisa (thearmychapswife): I really enjoyed writing the blog post and so glad others are enjoying it. Everyone's good energy really does make a difference. So thank you!

Anita G. Houser said...

Hey Carolee,
Thanks my friend. Yeah, sorry about the other day. Alot going on, and I still manage to squeeze a little work in as well! I'll be better able to focus on our next call! Thanks for understanding. :)

Anita G. Houser said...

Hi Lisa B Carter! Thanks so much for keeping up with my blog and being such a great friend. Yes, please put a link on your blog. It may provide some support and perspective to others out there. And I receive so much support and inspiration from people's comments like yours. :)

Tanya M. said...

What a sweet & touching story!! Im soooo glad that yyou are still enjpying every moment with your mama :) Big hugs!!

Glynis said...

I am so glad your mama had a good day. You are right about mothers switching names, my mother does it all the time. Great picture of your mother too! :)