Monday, December 3, 2007


Mom was looking through the new Christmas coloring book I got her. She looked at this page, and said, "Ooh, he's sneaky." Sure enough, that reindeer does have a sneaky expression on his face.

That reminded me of other times she has attributed emotions to pictures in her coloring books. I found a couple more examples.

He's mad.

He's grumpy. She also once told me that was her dad. Oddly enough, he does bear a resemblance to my grampa.

I've read that AD patients are very in tune to body language and expressions, and have found that true with Mom. Sometimes I think Mom is always happy, she is just reacting to me if I am having a bad day. I have to tell myself, smile, smile, smile even if I don't feel like it.

I'm just amazed that she can see emotions in a coloring book drawing.


cornbread hell said...

very thought provoking.

i'm pretty sure i'm guilty of letting my personal feelings color mom's. way too often. i think she probably does a better job of cheering me up than vice versa.
i'll work on that. thanks.

purple-power said...

As always, you have the most interesting posts, filled with love and sadness. They make me think about things I've never thought about. And your photos are absolutely beautiful.

I am normally a lurker. I don't blog myself, and seldom comment on others. To the extent that I look at anyone's blog, I look at what they are knitting. But your blog fills my heart.

Take care of yourself, and keep blogging. It is too easy for us to become islands.

rilera said...

I will have to pay more attention to Mom. She uses only one color now when she 'paints' as she calls it.

Annie said...

Thought provoking? Wasn't intended to be, but I'm glad you thought so.

Also, sad? Again not intended to be. Maybe they can't help but be.


Elaine said...

I found it very interesting how neatly she colors within the lines. I used to love to color and was always so careful to make sure I did too.

I found the post interesting and poignant (which I suppose might be called sad).

My observation, based admittedly on a small sample, is that people with AD, like drunks, fall into 2 categories. The happy ones and the nasty ones, and that it correlates closely with their personalities before the onset of the disease. It just becomes more extreme. My mother-in-law was a difficult person before she got sick. She had many admirable traits, but she was not warm and when she disagreed with you she could be downright nasty. When she got sick, she got nasty to everyone.

I was remembering her this week because I was speaking with my daughter who is studying cognitive science and writing a paper about the loss of a language in bilingual people with brain traumas. My mother-in-law was bilingual, and when her short term memory first started going, she would tell the most detailed stories about her days as a young girl in pre-WWII Germany. She came here in 1938 as a young woman. While here she just about never spoke German, even though her husband was also a pre-war German refugee.

I had wondered whether she would revert to German as her short term memory went and her recollections of anything even moderately recent disappeared. As long as she spoke, she always spoke in English, until the last 2 weeks of her life, when she was in the hospital because of a fall. Then about the only words she said were while she was semi-conscious and they were in German. So very interesting how the mind works. Maybe some day it will all be understood.