Friday, June 10, 2011

Dad Forgets. I Remember. An Update from Barbara Ruth

Regular readers of Barbara Jean will recall my posting a couple of weeks ago that was a tribute to my Dad, currently suffering from advanced multi-infarct dementia. If you didn't read it, take a minute and go check it out by clicking on May in the sidebar to the right, and then clicking on "Dad Forgets. I Remember." (click here to go directly to it), then come back. I'll wait....


Well, I just wanted to let you know that I had one of those sparkling moments yesterday. I went to visit my parents because the time has come to move Dad to a secure floor within their residence, and I needed to be there to make arrangements. His wandering has become a problem, and he needs more care than Mum could possibly provide. Thankfully, the facilities they are in are prepped for such situations, and he will have a lovely room with amazing staff starting Monday. It is of course, very sad to separate my folks after 55 years, but I am thankful for the care we were able to secure, and confident that this is the right step to take.

But I digress.

At lunch Dad was unable to speak much other than nonsensical phrases, but he was smiling, and enjoying the chatter between my sister, Mum, and me. I looked at him and I don't know why, but I started to sing one of his old Barbershop Quartet pieces to him. I picked "Goodbye my Coney Island Baby", and was shocked when he joined in! He didn't remember every single word (nor do I, quite frankly), but he sang a few lines with me and made the silly motions he used to make as part of the act. Then of course, we both laughed.

That, my friends, is a sparkling moment.

The video below is a group in Disney World performing the song if you want to know what Barbershop sounds like - Dad would have been the big goof on the left in his quartet. Enjoy, and look for some sparkling moments in your life this weekend!


  1. Krista Lattanzio10 June 2011 at 20:06

    Amazing! I saw a program on television that discussed how the part of the brain last affected by dementia is the "musical part". The program featured "Sting" and some other artisits hooked up in MRI machines and had some incredible findings on this very subject. It had a segment with a woman in the very late stages of Alzheimers who recognized when Big Band music she listened to as a young child (7 decades ago) was altered in any way. ie. missing a bar, cut out etc. She would shake her head and say "no that is not right". Fascinating. Thank you for sharing this. Music is so magical and I am glad it gave you a chance to have this moment with your Dad:)

  2. That's lovely, Ruth. How nice that your father still has a few moments where he remembers. I'll be thinking of your mom and dad on Monday.

  3. How very nice to have such a great moment while having to make such difficult arrangements. You are right, we all need to look for such magical moments in our life every day.