March 19th, a remarkable afternoon at St. James, brought together caregivers, friends, and those affected by the Alzheimer disease.
The mood was festive, happy, as the hall filled with new arrivals; some entered hesitantly not knowing what to expect; some burst in, hopeful and relieved, knowing that here was a place to share, to receive support for the journey into a troubling diagnosis.
After a prayer by the rector of St. James, Andy Chisholm, and a brief introduction, Glenna and Dave launched into a set of music using oldies but goodies, mostly from the 1950’s and 60’s.
Glenna’s expressive voice and bubbly personality quickly gathered all to a timeless place where nostalgia, hope and good will filled every heart. Our own, consummate guitarist, Dave, magically wove his warm sound around and within Glenna’s, lifting like a warm summer breeze, the sweet tapestry of the place and time she created.
It was good and every face showed that it was good for hearts, now freed from the pain of uncertainty, from fear for the future, even just during these special moments while listening to the music and experiencing the shared time-out from worry.
The afternoon could have ended there, in the knowledge that there still could be peace in the storm of the disease that inflicted its damage not only on the person diagnosed but also on the persons watching a loved one inexorably moving forward, to an extinction of who they had been.
But there was more: a medical description of the disease, a time to ask questions and thankfully more music by Glenna and Dave.
It was a remarkable afternoon for all.
The next Alzheimer Cafe is on June 4th.
Because of privacy issues, there is only one photo of someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and we were given permission to post that photo.
A wonderful initiative! I am glad these Cafés are planned as an ongoing series of monthly events, and hope to be able to attend one in future.