Yesterday would have been my mother's 85th birthday.
I celebrated her birthday the same way I have for the past five years--I watched a clip of her playing the piano. I recorded it on one of her visits before she moved to live with us. She went downstairs where we had a piano, sat down, and began to play. She had lost some of her skills but none the less she was doing pretty good. Her long nails clicking on the keys were her trade mark--and we were not disappointed. She even played "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" for me. Something she use to do when I was a child.
Although it was not the same as when we were younger when she used to play every Sunday at church, but there she was doing something she loved and had done almost all of her life. Little did we know how much would change over the never several years. Her husband, Dale, would pass away after a battle with cancer. She would move into our home and her Alzheimer's would progress.
Not long before she died, I went to see her, and she was sitting at her piano when I arrived in her room. We chose that particular facility because they would allow us to bring her piano. I asked her to play for me and she played "Bringing in the Sheaves." I was surprised she was able to play it so well. I then asked her to play "Amazing Grace." She grinned and nodded and then played "Bringing in the Sheaves" again. I thought I would try "Rudolph" since that was such a special song for us. She gave me a big grin and played "Bringing in the Sheaves."
Alzheimer's is a terrible disease--especially for the family. In her mind she was playing the songs I had requested and was happy. I was hearing something totally different and hurting deep inside. I am so glad that God allowed her to keep the joy of playing the piano in her mind. In her mind she heard the songs requested although her mind could not tell her fingers to play the tunes.
There was still a bit of joy for me that day...I could still hear he long finger nails clicking on the keys.
This is my story...