Lost and Found

wow!An amazing thing happened today.

I arrived at Mom’s to see that her red chair was missing. She was looking rather bewildered as she sits in it every day looking out at the view. It turned out it had been sent out for cleaning BUT as I moved another chair in its place, I saw a packet of paintings. It turns out that Mom has been hiding paintings under that chair for months. Some I thought has been lost forever and there was one truly incredible one—some kind of creature in blues and greens—that I had never seen before. Mom couldn’t have cared less but I was thrilled.

Enjoy.
2013.12.17 painting

model2013.12.17 model
red

model
2013.12.3 model

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“I always miss you when you’re gone.”

mom on 4th of july 2012“I always miss you when you’re gone.”

Mom said this to me today when I was leaving and I nearly melted. I know that it is unlikely—given that she has a short term memory of about 2 seconds—but Oh, what a lovely, lovely thing to hear her say.

The second great quote of the week was provided by Kitty after she saw Mom’s art.
“If you believe art is a medium for communication, it appears this woman has more than a few things to say to us. Maybe it will help us all realize and understand that the human spirit is very much alive in these folks.”

Yes, yes, yes!

DSC08250To that happy end, I have just launched a new crowdfunding campaign—The Art of Alzheimer’s: Changing the Way We Think about Alzheimer’s—One Painting at a Time.

My premise: Alzheimer’s is Scary—Art Isn’t

My goal:
1. To showcase the art by Mom and others with AD to spread the word far and wide that those with the disease are still here—living lives of value, creativity and joy.
2. To print and market a series of note cards and calendars with net proceeds to support the valuable arts programs that are enriching the lives of everyone living with Alzheimer’s—patients, family, caregivers and the public at large.

To see the campaign, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-art-of-alzheimer-s/x/4601802

AND—LAST BUT NOT LEAST

If you are a caregiver and need support, advice and ideas, please, please check out Relink: Twenty Tips for Caregivers – Looking After Someone with Alzheimer’s at home.
http://www.relinkdevice.com/

It provides the tools to equip Alzheimer’s patients with life altering assistance and incredibly valuable tips to help you peacefully look after the person you love and who lives with Alzheimer’s disease.
20140729125019_00001

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All My Moms

20140729125019_00002When I visited Mom yesterday, I encountered all my moms—first Joyce who is always accompanied by a small stuffed animal named Gus. “Hi Gus,” I said. To which she beamed, “You remembered his name! He is so pleased. You know, I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for Gus,” she confided. I scratched his head and told her about my dog Betty. “You know, I feel the same way,” I replied. We exchanged tips on dog care and to her delight, I gave Gus a parting nuzzle.

Then off to see Flora with my usual greeting, “Ciao, Bellissima!” I gave her and Phyllis each a hug and kiss. Then Kathleen—usually so serious but beginning to thaw . As I gave her a hug, she—for the first time—called me dear and hugged me back. Then Muriel. “My but you look lovely,” I said. She’s not quite sure who I am and why I would say such a thing but smiles.

Through all of this, Mom accompanies me—not quite sure who I am but aware that—whoever I am—she knows me and likes me. But then Mom likes everyone. It’s part of her charm.

“We are all so beautiful,” she says.

I like these people. I like being with them. They make me happy. Who could ask for anything more?

the ladies of AL

the model 2013.6.11 model

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MY GREAT JOY

mom skiingMother LOVES to ski. One reason she is in such good shape—with truly fabulous legs—is that she began skiing before there were rope tows. As often as possible, she would spend her days at Snoqualmie, hiking up the slopes and skiing down for hours. Here is a photo of Mom in 1938, age 18. Written on the back: “My great Joy.”

And say what one will about the diminished capacity of those with Alzheimer’s, Mom is quite sensible. Today she was her usual playful self. Then a word of advice—“If you are always nice to one person, you should be nice to yourself.” Eminently sensible.

This week’s painting marks a return to bold, saturated colors.
2014.9.30 painting
2014.9.30 model

There is still time to join Mom’s Kickstarter campaign—Changing the way we think about Alzheimer’—One Month at a Time.

“There is whimsy and almost impish joy in your mom’s painting.”
“Your Mom’s calendar inspires me every day.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/636843332/moms-world-the-art-of-alzheimers-2015-calendar

Fabulous art and the inspiring story of my mother Jean—still here, living a life of creativity, purpose and joy.

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JOIN US!

2014.9.16 painting“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” Picasso

It only took Mom 89 years…

We’re beginning the third week of Mom’s Kickstarter Campaign and we have a long way to go.

Won’t you join us?

“There is whimsy and almost impish joy in your mom’s painting.”
“Your Mom’s calendar inspires me every day.”

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/636843332/moms-world-the-art-of-alzheimers-2015-calendar

Print

As I entered Assisted Living today, I greet my dear friends. “Ciao Bellissima” and a big kiss to Flora; a big hug and kiss to Phyllis; and quiet conversation with Kathleen. Mother increasingly has trouble engaging in conversation, preferring to sing her responses. I began taking her picture but she wasn’t having it—as these photos attest.
MOM 1

MOM 3
MOM 2

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Jean and Marilyn Raichle

Last week’s model.2014.9.16 MODEL

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