Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mutterer's Day

In about 1988 my Mother passed behind the veil of Alzheimer's disease. The portal hidden by that veil is largely one-directional: brilliant, vibrant, articulate people go in; only their incoherent mutterings come out.

Two years later, Mom's body died. It was a tough two years... for Dad, for me, and yes, for Mom: in the early stages of that terrible disease, the Alzheimer's victim is at least partially aware of what is happening to her.

So here's a toast to Mom as I remember her from earlier, better days. If I enjoy wit, poetry, music and fine Southern cooking, it is all because of Mom. Solo singer that she was, Mom must also have been a saint to love and marry my Dad, with his complete lack of pitch sense...


  1. What a lovely tribute to your Mom! And I'm guessing that you inherited your prodigious musical talent from her!!!!

  2. Alzheimer's is a scourge now, a plague as bad as HIV. It runs in families. I promise to remember you if you remember me! This brief tribute to your mother was a garden unto itself and lovely! peace, m

  3. Well, Kay, I certainly didn't get any of my musical ability from my father! :-) He and I used to joke that the two of us divided the arts between us: he painted; I played... and neither of us did the other. Mom was a real rarity, a solo-quality alto (call her a mezzo if you prefer) who in her youth often was asked to sing solo parts with the choir. Four decades after they were in college together, Dad still remembered that interminable Handel's Messiah that he dutifully attended because Mom had solos in it.

    (Messiah performances were indeed interminable back then, because in the early 1940s the typical tempo of any baroque Allegro was about half what it is today... or was in Handel's day. We all understand more about such matters now.)

  4. m, I promise I'll remember you!

    There does seem to be some genetic linkage to Alzheimer's, but it is by no means certain that you and I will suffer it just because one of our parents did. It does make the occasional typical "senior moment" a lot scarier for us than for most people, because we've seen where that can lead. But AFAIK, no one else in my family, on either side, suffered senile dementia of any sort. So I'm not going to spend the rest of my available lifetime worrying myself sick about it. Que sera, sera.



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