Buttons ‘n Bows… and Memories
A couple of years ago I was driving through a small town where we used to live. Stopping at the corner drugstore, I ran into a childhood friend.
“What a coincidence to see you! How are you and your family?” We chatted, bridging the passage of time. Who married who, her job, my work, children, parents, how many of our classmates still live here in town, do you remember taking dance lessons from Mrs. Morgenstern? She was an institution — is she still here in town?”
Well, the news about Mrs. Morgenstern wasn’t good. “She developed memory problems, you know, Alzheimer’s. She’s in the nursing home over on Steele Street. A couple of years ago she fell at home, and was on the floor six hours. All she had to do was push the Alert button she wore around her neck. But she forgot she was even wearing it or what it was for! And she was on the floor all that time with no one to help her. She doesn’t remember her own family now. So sad, I don’t even want to think about it…”
But so many of us do think about it, don’t we?
Aunt Phyllis, Joe down the street…your parents? Mrs. Morgenstern? No one is immune to memory problems of some sort. Seems like your brain has just enough energy to keep up with your family day to day, and you wonder at every little slip of the tongue…every time you can’t remember the word you want to say — is that an early sign? Will you lose your memory someday? Will you be like Mrs. Morgenstern, in a nursing home, and unable to understand or remember things?
Mrs. Morgenstern used to display her teaching prowess and turn on each little girl’s star power for a yearly recital. I mean, it could’ve been Broadway! Lights in your eyes, listen for the music to start (“da-de-da-da, buttons and bows”- and GO!).
It was amazing how she kept track of all those little girls. Who was in which class, which class goes on-stage next, the music for each number and of course, the costumes! Each girl had at least two costume changes in the crowded backstage at the high school auditorium. Mrs. Morgenstern had to simultaneously push one class onstage while hurrying another into their next costume and cueing the music. She was the original “multi-tasker”!
How did that tune go…? “Da-de-da-da, buttons ‘n bows”. I think “Buttons and Bows” was a really popular song at the time. But we didn’t know that. All we knew was that our costumes had shiny buttons and bows! Perception changes as your view of your world does. And that perception is your reality, in each moment.
Bravo to you, Mrs. Morganstern! I hope you won’t have to deal with the reality of your situation much longer. I hope soon you will be dancing on another stage somewhere, filled with sparkling sequins and happy bouncy music!
If you have any concerns or questions about memory loss for yourself or a loved one, give Navigate NC a call at 919-628-4428.