Head vs. Heart

Head vs. Heart

Lemme begin by saying, who HASN’T found their remote control in their fridge at least once?!? (and I’m not including when you had a liiiiiiiitttle too much vodka one night).

Well, I have.

Okay, maybe not that exact scenario, but you’re a big fat liaaaaa if you haven’t done something similar when you were distracted, such as:

A. Threw something valuable in trash?

B. Totally forgot what you just went upstairs for?

C. Put your cell phone in the washing machine? (Thank you husband for the personal example lol)

Come on, everybody’s doin’ it! And it makes sense because, we’re ya know, “otherwise occupied” with 3 children screaming or a work problem on our minds and simply unable to focus on the task at hand.

Sometimes it can be a funny situation (like when I put my underwear on backwards one day and was wondering why things felt a bit “odd”—–yes that was a true story folks and if you tell anyone about it I’ll never forgive you).  Regardless of how funny it is, most of us get frustrated a little to super frustrated when we do something silly.

Well, step inside Mr. Gray’s sneaks with me. Don’t be shy…

K, now that we’re all here. Mr. Gray can’t just laugh off Dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc., with a “Oh silly me!” No, dude. This is tough stuff. We all know the deal here…..these diseases and gray issues are for lack of a more proper phrase: “Pieces O’ Shit.” Not being able to remember the most basic things like what a “shoe” is called to the most important things like the names and faces of loved ones. Well, a round of drinks for everyone involved because THAT SUCKS. But I’m not here to tell you what you already know about dementia. I’m here to talk to you about what you CAN do for Mr. Gray — you can help him retain his dignity.

  • Don’t baby talk: Baby, sweety, honey—– save that for your lovaaa! Why should we talk to an 85 year old any differently than we would a 45 year old?
  • Choices: What do you want to wear today? The light blue sweater or the red floral shirt? By assuming, well you know….you make an ASS OUT OF YOU AND ME. This allows Mr. Gray to maintain autonomy and I mean, who doesn’t like choice?!
  • Don’t lie! Just because you can get away with it and “he/she won’t know the difference anyway”, doesn’t mean you should. NOW, that being said, there are certain lies that would benefit Mr. Gray’s well-being. You have to use your best judgement. But as much as possible, tell the truth.
  • Engage in normal discussion: Keep it simple and provide direction in the conversation when possible. It’s beautiful outside today! What do you think about those flowers outside? I bet they smell lovely… Even if one’s memory isn’t sharp, doesn’t mean conversations don’t have value.

These are just a FEW things you can do to make Mr. Gray’s life brighter when the good ole ‘noggin isn’t working quite as well as it used to. I’m in. You?

I’ll leave you with this heartfelt story I saw on tv when the Washington Capitals (Hockey for some of you non-fans) won the Stanley Cup recently. The interviewer asked one of the star players, the goalie T.J. Oshie, about his game play inspiration.

Check out the video here!

It’s okay, cry it out. I did too.

So yeah, this disease stinks and Mr. Gray sometimes has to live with this. Until we can fix it, let’s do what we can to not judge him for it and treat him like a whole person. And remember there’s one thing that always remains whole no matter what…

HEART! <3 <3 <3

The Hills Are Alive

…With the sound of muuuusiiicc. Aww, doesn’t that film just make you feel ooey gooey good on the inside?!! Julie Andrews, Do Re Mi, clothes made out of curtains. One of the best movies of all time.

Now — since we’re on the topic — I’m just putting it out there….but ya know the song “I am 16, going on 17”? Huge hit, right? I mean, every teenage girl could relate to that song: teenage romance, first kiss, innocence, an older man who’s 17 going on 18. Except one little, itty, bitty, problem. My version was: “I am 16, going on 83.” (and if you could please be in your 90’s Mr. Soldier Boy, that would be bonus points). 

Yeah, I’m a senior freak. This is nothing new. We’ve established this with my blog reveals. But, what might be new and fresh for you all is my epic music skills. Just watch my latest jam sesh:

Oh, you want more you say?! Encore?! Sorry, you’ll have to buy tickets to my next concert. And yes, that’s a shower cap. All granny wannabes wear them whilst playing instruments. You’d have to be one to understand.

Ok. Enough of that hubbub! I clearly stink at the harmonica (although in my defense that was the first day I tried it). I did, however, used to be pretty good at the flute and piano. Key words: “used to.” It’s too bad though because had I kept up with them I could be a virtuoso by now. And when I hit 80, I could have been the talk of the town. Like this dude:  

Woof, someone grab me a fan and fainting couch. This silver-haired Santana is making me SWOON. 

Knock knock. [Who’s there?]. Arthritis. [Arthritis who?] Arthri t’isn’t an issue for deez fingers!!!

Mmmmmhhhmm das right: Did ya’ll know.that musical talent does not decline with age — It RE-FINES. Oh yeah, this is fine wine material here. It’s simple logic- the more you do something, the better you get at it. I mean duh, right? Well, I don’t think it’s a duh thing actually. I don’t think we expect to see a Mr. Gray gone Gary Clark Jr. Quite the contrary; we are mouths-gaping WOWED by it. Most of us react this way to talented musicians of all ages, but when it’s a senior we go ape *shhhhh. We think “He’s so old, but look how he can still play!” I mean, hello, I’m one of them because I internet fainted when I saw this dude.

BUT, as we see with Mr. Gray in this video, talents ripen with time. If continued into old age, these talents enrich the lives of the elderly AND ours simultaneously. Mr. Gray might appear a bit pruney, but he is no wilting grape! And to speak strictly musically, it’s a darn good thing emotionally and physically. It’s a mood booster, provides hand exercise and brain stimulation, preserves memory, you name it.

Seniors with dementia often cannot remember names, places, or other words, but can remember every word to a song when they sing. Check out this video (*warning* get your happy tissues out!):

SHOT THROUGH THE HEART! This gets me deep in my soul. I feel that everything that is positive and hopeful about humanity is present in this video. I could write more here about my thoughts on this, but I mean, I already posted one embarrassing video in this entry, let’s go for 2:

Ok, sorry bout the waterworks, but MAN these videos bring us full circle: Look at what Mr. Gray can do for music and what music can do for Mr. Gray. So let’s all be rockstars.