Every month I get to paint with a wonderful group of people.
We sit in the gallery on thursday mornings, enjoying the beautiful art on the walls and paint. I put on music, lay out the paint and paper and they just pick up the brush and go.
It's one of my favorite parts of my job. These people are retired lawyers, doctors. artists, dentists, musicians and many other professions. They are all here together because they share one thing- they all have early Alzheimer's disease. Painting and being together in this way is one less pill to take, one more way to be in the world. They are dignified, intelligent and loving people. They have taught me so much.
I am blessed to have them in my life. They are assisted by qualified and sensitive staff and volunteers from the local senior center.
Certain ones come for a while, then stop coming, and I miss them terribly when they do. Looking at art unlocks memories. I try not to be sad about it- these are not my parents, grandparents or loved ones.
They are just people, not suffering, at least when they are painting. I know it's the ones that are at home that hurt the most. I pray they find a cure for this terrible disease, but until they do, we can paint together and be here now.