I LOVE MUSIC! For those of you who know me this does not come as a surprise to you. Being the youngest of 5 children, I became interested in all Genres of music.
My Mother would listen to Movie Soundtracks like Sound of Music, South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof. some of favorite artists were Andy Williams. Mitch Miller, Bobby Goldsboro, Lawrence Welk and others.
My sister Linda, who’s age I shall not share for fear of my life, listened to a lot of Barbra Streisand. She may have listened to some other artists as well, but I can’t recall who.
My brother Wayne liked the group, The Animals, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Herman’s Hermits, The Rascals, The Turtles, The Beach Boys, and others.
My brother Barry liked Cat Stevens, Chicago, Lovin’ Spoonful and others I don’t remember.
Keith was a fan of The Beatles, The O’Jays, The Eagles and others I don’t remember.
Then there was me. Being I grew up listening to the same music as my parents, my sister and my brothers, my likes of artists spread from the 60’s all the way until today. Yes I liked the music, but I was a bit more interested in the lyrics and how they related to the parts of my life and whatever decade I was in. Being I was born in 1960 and it is now 2021, I’m entering my 7th decade. (damn, typing that made my fingers cramp. LOL)
I would sit in the living room with headphones on (my dad made me listen through headphones for he didn’t want to listen to “that crap”) and I didn’t yet have a stereo in my bedroom but I didn’t mind. Plus it gave me the opportunity to listen to the lyrics of the song. (My dad did like one “modern” song and that was Proud Mary by CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival). I don’t think he knew the lyrics he just liked the song.
Anyways . . .
As I said, I liked to listen to the lyrics of a song. A lot of lyrics spoke to me (not in a creepy way) but more like, intellectually. You may wonder what I am writing about, but if you follow me, you may find that I don’t like to get right to the point.
As I enter my 7th year of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, I have become more reminiscent of things and some of those things wrap around friendships, forgotten friendships, and broken friendships.
There are a lot of songs that have the word “WHY” as part of the title. WHY is a very short question and sometimes, turns into a very long answer. If you are wondering if I am going to ask a question using the word “WHY”, you are correct. As a matter of fact, I may ask several questions using “WHY?”
This morning as I was listening to my music, a song by STYX (one of my favorite bands) came on that was very familiar to me. The name of the song is “WHY ME?”
The lyrics spoke to me for I ask these questions to myself, to God, to anyone who listens.
Part of the lyrics are:
I guess we used to be the lucky ones, whose fortune smiled on everyone
Stop! A voice said you best beware.
Stop! Bad luck is everywhere.
And sure enough the voice was right
My luck had changed overnight
Stop! Please tell me what went wrong
Stop! I can’t take these ups and downs
Hard times come and hard times go
And in between you hope and pray the scars don’t show
‘Cause life is strange, and so unsure
The days you hardly make it through
You swear that there’s a curse on you
And nothing seems to fit
And things won’t go your way
You know you’ve had enough
You’ve got the right to say
Why me, why me
I often wonder, WHY ME?
I wonder, WHY don’t you talk to me anymore?
I wonder, are you scared? Do you think I won’t understand something you say or ask? Do you feel that my confusion may make you feel uncomfortable?
If you answered YES to any or ALL of these questions, please, put yourself in my shoes or the shoes of a loved one, or the shoes of one of my many friends who are also Living with Dementia.
After doing that, please write back to me and . . .
Let me know how it feels for you.
Let me know how lonely it feels.
Let me know how it feels to be abandoned.
Let me know when you write to a friend or someone you thought was a friend, and they don’t respond.
Just let me know!
I am not asking these questions out of pity or as a cry for help or attention.
I want to know how it feels for you to walk in our shoes.
Sadly you won’t be able to, you can only imagine what it would feel like.
Try this . . . I want you to go somewhere with your husband, wife, partner, child and have someone walk up to you and instead of asking YOU how YOU are doing, they ask the person you are with because they think you aren’t able to speak.
I understand that there are those who are no longer able to speak but . . .
can still hear and understand,
can still recognize a smile,
can still feel a hug, feel a hand holding their hand.
They are still a person inside. They may not communicate in the way they once did, but they try very hard to make it known that they understand.
The worst thing you can do is to discount them, abandon them, ignore them just because they are not the same person you used to know, because they make YOU feel uncomfortable.
HOWEVER, they are still a person that knows you.
I have a STRONG circle of friends. and yes, they know who they are. They don’t need to be reminded. Thanks to Maureen, I now have an extended family which includes 2 adult daughters, Meghan and Erin, Erin’s husband David, Maureen’s brothers and sisters and I could never not include my shadow . . . Emma!
Please don’t think this is a cry for help for it is the furthest thing from the truth. I don’t need pity, I don’t need anyone to feel sorry for me, I’m not begging you to be my friend. All I’m doing is to give you the opportunity to learn a little bit about folks like me who are living with a Dementia-Related Illness. We are really awesome people, you just may have to to introduce yourself to us every now and then. Oh yeah, we have a great sense of humor!
Until Next Time . . .