A week ago this volunteer was speaking to one of the Participants in our Connections program while enjoying a sunny interlude in our beautiful courtyard garden. It was just a normal conversation with someone who has early symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The gentleman who is aware his condition is “progressive” was telling me his life history in interesting detail. I will call him ” Ed” for the purpose of this article.
We were discussing the guitar and our mutual love of music and while this enthusiastic amateur is able to play folk, country and pop songs, Ed was once a classical guitarist. Oh, by the way, he also spoke at least three languages and taught them at College. You can image my surprise when he told me that through his father he had met the world’s greatest guitarist! The one and only Andres Segovia! Segovia was widely credited as being the catalyst for putting classical guitar music interpretation on the world map. His impressions of Bach are particularly noteworthy.
Then last Thursday in the Connections program I asked Ed if he would like to address all the other participants and tell his Segovia story. He was at first reluctant saying “Mike, I’m not as good with words now as you think I am”. I offered to help and fill in the gaps if he were able to try. He said “yes, if you help me”.
Suffice to say that when Ed sat down with me and started speaking he was absolutely brilliant! I watched his fellow participants listen attentively to every word. It was such a great story, but, the real story was the person telling it proudly, with passion and a sense of the moment.
Nurturing and improving self esteem is just one aspect of daily Memory Matters activities.
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