For several years (2008-2013) I spent about half of each year caring for my 90+ year old mother who had Alzheimer’s. I learned that in the dissolving human mind there is a special place that stores old songs with a little bit of magic.
When we played music that she remembered her otherwise awkward shuffle turned into a smooth gait down the hallway with her walker, or a graceful fox trot around the living room. Every evening we put on music and sing and make crafts together.
One of Mum’s favourite songs was Hoary Carmichael’s Two Sleepy People which is about two people so in love that they can’t bear to call it a night. It starts out with them being out of cigarettes, and my mum always like that part because I think she still missed her cigs. You can hear my favourite version with Dean Martin here.
I’ve written more about my experience of making art and singing with my mum here.
This work was exhibited in a show called Lyrical Visions at the Wedeman Gallery, Yamawaki Arts & Cultural Center at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts in March 2011.