Released to the Angels
Discovering the Hidden Gifts of Alzheimer's    




Photo by Michele Muir

Music has always been a part of our life together.  I have always played the piano, and often Patrick and I spent quiet time together, relaxing and sharing the comforting sound of music. 

Many times I could match Patrick's mood during his sickness.  When he was happy, playful music was a way to reach him.  He enjoyed the cheerful beat and smiled at the upbeat rhythm of favorite songs and melodies I played.  And when he was restless, I often chose to simply create a 'meandering' of quiet tones on the piano.  I would search for the quietest, most soothing tones I could find.  Always he would begin to relax, and as he became more comforted his anxiety would slowly fade.

The background music of this website is just playing the piano with no real melody in mind.  I simply sat down at the piano and began to quietly play notes as I always had for Patrick. 

The music is for you, Patrick.



As Patrick became more house-bound and unable to walk, I found I needed to be with him more and to find ways to meet his changing needs.  He seemed to need my presence more and looked to me for reassurance and comfort.  He seemed, also, to enjoy watching me paint—something I have always loved to do.  And so, when I realized that we would be spending more time at home, I was only too willing to pick up the paintbrush again.  Some of the examples I've chosen to share with you date back to when I lived in Spain.  Others are examples of portraits of little ones—friends' babies that I painted as a gift to them.  Patrick in particular loved when I painted children.  He could not contain his joy and would point to my canvas saying, "...that's my baby!" sweet, so gentle.  So I share them with you now.