Tag: Alzheimer’s Disease

The Chestnut Tree

Originally posted on ePluribus Media.

Mumsie passed away last year, on the cusp of December 18th and 19th.  Next week is Wifey’s birthday; a little more than one month later is the first anniversary of her mother’s passing.

Today, Wifey ran across the following video — it is a sweet, special memory of the special bond between a mother and daughter called "The Chestnut Tree."

It reduced her to tears.

I thought I’d share it with all of you.  Below the fold, other pieces I’ve written in memory and honor of Mumsie and the caretaking journey we all took together.

“My Name is Lisa” — Powerful short film about Alzheimer’s

For the first five years of my marriage, my wife and I cared for her mother — “Mumsie” — who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. I was her primary caretaker. Reading through the entries of ~another~ son-in-law who served as his mother-in-law’s primary caretake, I came across a powerful video by SheltonFilms about caring for Alzheimer’s patients called “My Name is Lisa.” It struck me so powerfully that I had to share it with folks.

“You want to have some idea what it is like to be a care-provider for someone with Alzheimer’s or other age-related dementia? Watch it.”

            — Jim Downey

Before reading the rest of this essay, watch the following piece.

My Name Is Lisa

The rest of the essay, plus the director’s video log, is over on ePluribus Media if you’d like to check it out.

The video alone is more than worthy of its own space on a page.

Writing in the Raw:You Can Either Laugh or Cry

I’ve always thought of my Dad as two different people.  There was Dad during his drinking years, and Dad after he quit.

He grew up with alcoholic parents.  His father would send him to buy bread, and his mother would make him take it back so she would have money for booze.  He didn’t talk much about his early family life, only about the times he would live with his grandmother on the farm.  Those were happy times for him.  His grandmother loved him well.

My Dad was a real charmer.   Six foot two, sparkling blue eyes, dark hair, and a wicked sense of humor, and grin.  During one period when he was dating my Mom, they had a fight and broke up.  Dad asked another girl to a dance during this time, and then him and Mom got back together.  So Dad, being the honorable soul that he was, took them both to the dance.  🙂

Not long after my 20 year old Dad married my 16 year old, five foot two Mom they moved up to Michigan so he could get into the pipefitters union.   Pretty soon my oldest sister was on the way, and Dad started drinking.  Once he passed out in the hall in front of their apartment.  Mom didn’t want the neighbor kids to see him in the morning, so she kicked the shit out of his ribs to get him up and inside.  He woke up the next day not knowing what he had done to his sides, but they sure hurt.  When they had 3 kids he blew out the pilot light on the oven trying to gas everyone.  Mom packed up the kids and went to the train station.  He came after her, and quit drinking for a little while.

Stir of Echoes: Haunted Hearts and Healing Melodies

For over a month now, I’ve been trying to assemble a piece in tribute to Mumsie that tied together some music with some of the memories that those tunes invoked.

I’ve finally completed it, in two parts:


Stir of Echoes


Musical Deconstruction of a Life’s Worth of Memories.

Many of you “remember” Mumsie — my mother-in-law who suffered and ultimately died from Alzheimer’s Disease. The tribute I’ve been working on has been my small effort to help you all get to know her even better.

Our farewell to “Mumsie” (my mother-in-law)

Grieving is hard. Writing is cathartic.

At least, it is for us.

I just posted a piece called “As I Lay Dying…” — A Farewell to Mumsie on both ePluribus Media and DailyKos, the two spots on the vast Intertube network where she was known the best.

It was a stream-of-consciousness piece that Wifey and I both shared in the creation of, started as I sat vigil by Mumsie’s side in the nursing home and completed, for the most part, last night as Wifey and I quietly passed the small pocket computer between us at our local watering hole.

Please go leave a comment in one or both places for Wifey, and if you “knew” Mumsie through any of our writings please feel free to post a note for her as well.