Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Screening

Photo by MJ.

Remember when I said Mom was with me in spirit? I walked into the reception they had before the screening, and there was Mom on the poster. Somebody had to point it out, I hadn't even seen the poster for the crush of people. I had the privilege of meeting many people involved with The Alzheimer's Project, and let me tell you it was weird when people recognized me, both before and after the screening.

The film itself...I just want to give a few impressions.

I recognized the story of Woody Geist because I had read Mary Ellen Geist's (his daughter) book, Measure of the Heart. Seeing him sing just blew me away though. I wanted to give him a standing ovation, so I was happy when others in the theater also applauded.

Yolanda about broke my heart. She suffers from hallucinations, and sees snakes on her wheelchair. I wanted to kiss her caregivers though. They do everything they can to comfort her, smashing the snakes with a tissue, even switching wheelchairs so she can have a clean one without snakes. I love them. Something Yolanda says struck me. She is upset and crying, and says, "You try to make everything simple, but you can't." Or something very similar to that. She is so right.

With regard to Mom, they showed several several of her "Art of Alzheimer's" pieces, (gratifying reaction from others at the screening) and among other things, a sort of dramatic (traumatic, for me) event. When you see it, you'll know what I'm talking about, and I hope, understand my reaction. If you've read here long enough, you know what we went through in the past. I think every AD caregiver has moments of self-doubt, and the filmmakers happened to catch a huge one of mine. Sorry to be so cryptic, but you'll see for yourself.

Parts of it were very difficult for me to watch, because I'm so close to it. But everything they showed needed to be there, and it was absolutely right that it be there.

I'm happy that Mom was a part of it.

The peepers are out at the lake (the one I can barely see from the upper pasture) and so so loud! After I got Mom to bed last night (dang, around 1 am) I stood outside for a few moments to listen and watch the animals in the pasture. It was the perfect thing to do before going to bed.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes I need to cry, and I think I'm going to get a lot of that out my system watching the HBO presentation. I'm going to stock up on those kleenex in advance.

Hugs to you, and THANK you so much for sharing your experiences with us.

~Amanda (gr8aunt)

sophanne said...

That picture of your mom is so beautiful there. I'll have the kleenex ready too.

Annie said...

Very good idea, guys. There was a lot of sniffling going on throughout the theater at the screening.

Cindy said...

That is an amazing picture of you Mom. I look forward to the series (I think). Thank you for your bravery in allowing us to see you when you are strong and weak. I think Yolanda said it best, didn't she?

Anonymous said...

Dear Annie
Thank you so much for sharing your
life and your mom´s with all of us. Love the art and love the stories. Looking forward to the program. My exhusband was diagnosed about 3 years ago and is now institutionalized. My heart goes out to you for your care. Blessings Mary

rilera said...

Wow. That's all I can say is wow. I recognized your mom in the poster right away. What a precious thing.

I can't imagine the woman who hallucinates about snakes. That would be my own worst nightmare.

In the end, I hope that this opens peoples' eyes to this vicious disease, to it's victims and to the people who love and care for them.

Annie said...

Mary, thank you. As hard as it is with Mom, dealing with it in a spouse, or ex-spouse must be even more so.

Robyn, I think the documentary helps people to see that it isn't all doom and gloom at every moment. Just as there are parts that make you cry, there are others that make you laugh out loud, and others that make you want to stand up and cheer.