When I’m Sixty-Four

When I’m Sixty-Four

Today is my mom’s 64th birthday.  And it’s a big birthday for me.  This may sound weird but I’ve been waiting for this particular birthday all my life.  I’ve been really excited for my mom to turn 64.  

One of my earliest memories is my mom singing the Beatle’s “When I’m 64.”  She sang it to me when I was a toddler.  She sang it when she washed dishes.  She sang it while she gardened.  She whistled it.  She got it in my head at an early age.  

So throughout my life, whenever I would hear this song, I’d think of my mom, and I’d wonder what we would be like when she was 64, and if she’d sing this song on her 64th Birthday.

Well, I sang it.  Several times today.  And I thought about how our relationship has changed in almost 40 years.

And I wondered if when my mom would sing this song, she thought about the lyrics, and wondered if we would all still need each other, and if we’d all still love each other when she was 64?  Did she sing it as a question?  Or, did she know she’d done a good job and that whatever the circumstances, wherever we were, we’d love each other even more, we’d need each other even more, when she turned 64!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Kathy DeMarco!

To celebrate this day I am doing my best to follow the mantra WWKD, what would Kathy do?

Mom’s Birthday, To Do List:

• Eat a tomato sandwich, on toast.
• Drink iced tea.
• Listen to some of Kathy’s favorite songs, and sing along…loudly, maybe with the proper lyrics, or with the words they should have used in the song.
• I’m going to do something compassionate for a stranger.
• Give someone some folksy/awesome advice, via a Kathyism. “It’s not cool to be cold.”
• Think of others first.
• Dance, poorly and off beat, but not care. (DeMarco’s are not “dancing folk”.)
• Smile and laugh a lot.
• Call my family.
• Enjoy a good dinner with my family.

Since I will not be able to go visit Mom on this day I am going to take my wife out for dinner tonight and order what I think Kathy would order. Since my wife has wonderful manners I am seriously doubting I will be able to use some of my favorite Kathyisms at dinner, “No singing at the dinner table. Would you like to eat with us, or without us?” (I always found that a trick questions as a kid, and more often than not chose the wrong answer)

I love you Mom. Every visit, and every memory I am reminded that all the good things that I am I got from you and dad. All the bad stuff I either picked up on my own, or it was advice from my brother.

Happy Birthday, Momma D!

Beautiful People

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Convertible Day

Mom still manages to surprise me. There are times she seems to have lost things and I just decide they are gone and move on. Balance has been one of those things. Another was being able to get up and down from a chair on her own. Since the neurologist said it is an inevitable sign of disease progression, when I noticed I thought it was another new normal.

But I was surprised when I went last week and she’s moving around better than she has in a couple of months. Even getting out of a chair on her own.

It seems she’s been working with physical therapy and the momsitter on her balance and strength. They’ve had her riding an exercise bike and playing catch with a nerf ball. And it’s helped.

I decided I should stop making assumptions about what we can’t do anymore, and since it was a beautiful day on Saturday I took mom for a ride in the convertible. The end of the video is classic…

Before…

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During…

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After…

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Momsitting Update

week 25

day 1 today took walk outside,walked and,matched up outfits,read daily book,brush teeth,played a fishing game,soaked and cleaned feet,and massaged and painted toenails purple.  

day 2 went outside for walk,rocked in rocking chair,listened to music,puzzles,brush teeth,read daily book.

day 3 today we went for a walk inside due to rain,brush teeth,played slot machine,listened to music,read daily book,and puzzles.

day 4 today we did puzzles,listened to music,repainted nails purple with white tips,brush teeth,read daily book,walked inside due to rain,and lotioned and massaged hands.                                       

 week 26

day 1 today we walked inside due to rain,puzzles,brush teeth,read daily book,sat on back porch and watch the rain come down,and listened to music.

day 2 today we took a walk,brush teeth,puzzles,took walk outside,rocked in rocking chair,read daily book,listened to music,cleaned nails,played velcro and fishing game.

day 3 today we took walk outside,played magnet fish game,puzzles,listened to music,brush teeth,repainted nails pink,read daily book,and matched outfits.

day 4 today we took walk outside,threw balloon back and forth,went to ice cream party on porch,brush teeth,puzzles,read daily book,cleaned nails,curled hair,and matched up outfits.    

FTD on NBC Nightly News

FTD on NBC Nightly News

Last week, a few friends sent me a link to an NBC Nightly News broadcast they saw that made them think of mom.  This happens from time to time.  People send me links about Alzheimers or dementia, and they are usually similar caregiver/patient stories, but not specifically what we are going through.  But this story was different.  This was exactly what we are going through.  Well, were going through.  This story was our story several years ago, when we were confused and desperate to know what was happening.  

In two minutes, a good description of frontotemporal dementia…