For several years I spent about half of each year caring for my 90-year old mother with 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.
Mum’s favourite line in Hoary Carmichael’s song Two Sleepy People is about being out of cigarettes, 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.