Continuing the conversation about Alzheimer’s and music:
Bo has surprised me yet again. I watched the Celtic Thunder Christmas special and knew that he would have loved it. He loved Christmas. We always made a big thing of it. We’d decorate our tree together, drink eggnog and enjoy a fire in the fireplace. We’d have dinner by the TV as we watched one of our favorite seasonal movies — Little Lord Fauntleroy (only the Ricky Schroeder version!) our traditional holiday movie date. Often we’d watch George C. Scott’s A Christmas Carol, Bo’s favorite version.
He loved the carols and enjoyed concerts like A Night in Vienna on PBS and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s New Years Eve concert. He would tease me about my love of Christmas lights and music, but the truth was that he loved it just as much as I do, and some years he put all of the lights up as a surprise while I was at work.
Our trees are up and decorated now but he hasn’t noticed them. Would Celtic Thunder’s concert connect with him?
I planned to have him by the TV last night when the show was on. He hasn’t been focusing well lately, but maybe he would enjoy this. It had been a difficult evening — he was unable to sit quietly, not agitated but unfocused. Often I ask myself how I would sit still if I were in his place, unable to read, watch TV, carry a conversation or concentrate on anything. Lately, he has been getting worse. The music was my hope.
I expected him to listen, to whistle or hum, to move his hand to the music, to look at the lovely scene on the TV, perhaps even to cry. But it didn’t happen.
No matter how many times I tried to draw his attention to the music and the pictures on the TV screen, he completely ignored me. Or more accurately, he couldn’t process what I was saying. He walked around the room, picked things up, tried to scribble with a ball point pen he found, picked up his shoes, moved the bottles around on the bureau, but he never heard the beautiful Christmas music. Didn’t even look at the TV in front of him. Another loss.