FOR GREGORY. He was not a VICTIM of ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, he was a HERO!
PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Monday, March 30, 2015
The field work ended yesterday with a couple hours worth of interviews in the morning. Now their work has really just begun. They will review all their film footage, notes, interviews, stills, photographs, music, etc and attempt to put together a 10-15 minute documentary dealing with one of the 5 million stories out there about Alzheimer's Disease.
Since I was already raw emotionally at having re-visited many of the sorrowful and joyful memories of the last ten years for the team, I decided to watch "Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory."
It is a very powerful documentary looking at the "hospital model" of caring for the aged and those with dementia and the use of music to help return Alzheimer's patients from isolation, loneliness, dependence, and sorrow back to some of their memories and joy.
Watching the movie reminded me that Gregory and my story is only one of so many stories which are even more difficult for those who do not have loved ones to care for them, to remind them of who they are and who they were, to support them.
I so enjoyed working with this wonderful crew: intelligent, thoughtful, sensitive, respectful, creative, and fun. The kids (I can call them that as a 70 year old man while their ages range between 18 and 22!) came into the project with a limited and possibly skewed understanding of what Alzheimer's and other dementias do to a person and to the people who love them.
I know they left with a more thorough, compassionate understanding and that this will be portrayed in their work. I look forward to seeing the completed documentary, will try to attend the screening at Chapman in May, and will organize screenings for Lieberman, CJE, and family and friends.
Here are a few candids of their work while in Evanston:
Sunday, March 29, 2015
|כֹּל עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה||Kol ‘od balevav penimah||As long as in the heart, within,|
|נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה||Nefesh yehudi homiyah,||A Jewish soul still yearns,|
|וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח, קָדִימָה,||Ul(e)fa’atei mizrach kadimah,||And onward, towards the ends of the east,|
|עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה,||‘Ayin letziyon tzofiyah;||an eye still gazes toward Zion;|
|עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ,||‘Od lo avdah tikvateinu,||Our hope is not yet lost,|
|הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם||Hatikvah bat sh(e)not ’alpayim,||The hope of two thousand years,|
|לִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ,||Lihyot ‘am chofshi b(e)’artzeinu,||To be a free nation in our land,|
|אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם.||’Eretz-Tziyon viy(e)rushalayim.||The land of Zion and Jerusalem.|
Saturday, March 28, 2015
My voice, while over my cold, comes and goes so during the middle of reading a poem it will give out and I'll have to begin over. I must have read two dozen or so poems. Having to do sound checks, clapping before each set to as to synchronize the cameras (two are being used.)
Five people living in the condo (four of whom are "college kids") when I am used to only one, and that one being me. Meals to be organized and cleaned up. Groceries to be put away after a shopping trip. Two bathrooms which are plenty enough for me when here alone but in demand when needed by 5 people. For the most part, however, they are good roommates and restful of the space.
At night the crew has been going down to the community room to watch the "dailys" (work shot during that day.) The purpose of this is to see what went right and what needs further attention or to be redone. Glad for the community room as the kids really get into their work, laugh a lot, are nosey and are, well ..., are college kids and I, I am a seventy year old man used to having things my way and more or less living on my own.
When I got home from my birthday dinner last night with Pat, they had baked me a batch of birthday cookies, including one looking like Gigi and one like Emma. They also made a Vegan brownie which actually tastes worth eating! I was tickled by their gesture!