Do you love musicals? Have you ever seen South Pacific? It is quite weird. I watched it recently and had a funny experience with my mum in her new home. Today’s Music Friday is my South Pacific favourites inspired by her and her dementia.
I love musicals, so does my mum. She loves them so much that in recent times watched them over and over and over again, to the point where she thought she was Maria and my dad Captain.
Mum has always been very sweet and a little scatty.
We noticed her behaviour was changing slowly about 6 years ago.
It became more apparent one Christmas when she got really drunk, very unlike her, she knows her limits, only 3 drinks. Mum sang Christmas karaoke giddily and then fell into the Christmas tree.
6 months later she drank so much at her birthday party she was sick and had to go to bed. Paul, my brother and I joked how mum had gone all rock and roll, totally not her.
Then she started wearing her make up too thickly and forgetting and having visions.
Then shadowing my dad everywhere.
Then repeating herself. My line was ‘don’t we look alike’ ( picture from the 90’s see Tuesday post) To Nic ‘Caroline, you don’t mind how much I love Nic, do you?’ over and over whilst gazing into his eyes and holding his hand. ‘Yes mum I love him too’
Then the walking.
She disappeared from our house last year. A few of us were downstairs having lunch, she didn’t want to eat and was in the living room watching tv. I heard the traffic, meaning the front door was open and ran upstairs, she was gone. We live on a corner in central Brighton, she could of gone anywhere. 4 of us dashed in different directions, then panic. She didn’t have her coat on and it was raining and she could be anywhere. I plastered her picture on social media, asking people to keep eye out. I was so scared she would be knocked over, we called the police and they were excellent. She’d walked really far, luckily near Brighton Police Station and they brought her home in one piece. I asked her what happened, she just said “ I went for a walk” Totally unaware of the worry.
We doubled locked the door after that.
The walking has continued she doesn’t sit still. Walking in and out of rooms, round and round their house, rests for a minute then walks again. It became a problem when she wouldn’t sit down for food, a massive stress on my dad, her soul carer. She totally stopped eating for a week and that’s when dad made the painfully decision to put her in a home, as he could no longer cope.
He has always loved and cared for her amazingly and recently like a husband who has truly loved his wife for nearly 50 years, in sickness and in health. It’s their anniversary in September. It has been difficult for him especially, comparing her condition to torture.
Mum took a couple of weeks to settle into her new home, must of been so strange for her, new place, new faces. She looked really frail and scared when I went to see her the first time. It was a depressing scene, a living room with the curtains drawn, about 20 people, mostly woman seating round the edge of the room. They were watching South Pacific on the quite small screen. I sat in front of her and held her hands, then the film caught her eye, she lent around me and started singing ‘ Younger than Springtime are We.’
South Pacific is a classic musical, set on a Hawaiian island during World War II with love stories, great songs, Technicolor crazy cinematography and a mystical island Bahi Ha’I, perfect for a rainy afternoon.
I have complied a playlist of my top songs on Spotify, Cock-Eyed Optimist, (feels like me) Theirs is Nothin’ Like A Dame, (so camp) Bahi Ha’l (hypnotic) Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair (classic) and Younger Than Springtime. (makes me cry)
Music is a wonderful wake up to dementia sufferers. I’m planning something at mums new home, to brighten her time there and my visits. I will report back and let you know how I get on…
Thank you for reading and listening.
Please join Club Cazza, I promise it will be fun.