It's Not a Rumour

a rock and roll journey through life and Alzheimer's

Stuff and Junk (part 3)

March 30, 2019
schyjer

I played the guitar from age 13 until 17. After several years of playing the guitar, my life got more complicated. I was working and got interested in other hobbies and things and my guitar ended up in storage. I didn’t pick it up again for years until I helped my friend Veronica buy a guitar. That brings me to the story that I want to tell you about Rick and I playing guitar.

The first song that I wanted to learn on guitar after picking it back up was one of Rick’s songs called “King of the Wild Frontier.” It’s one of my favorites and that song is fun to play. What I found is that all of Rick’s songs are fun to play. I moved on from that song to learning all of Rick’s songs and we have been practicing regularly. It literally helps his memory. I try to have us practice at least 3 or 4 songs a couple of nights per week. Recently I submitted “King of the Wild Frontier” to the American Songwriters Contest and that song was chosen as a finalist but ultimately didn’t win the contest. That song was also used in the TV series “The Carrie Diaries” a prequel to “Sex and the City” So I know it’s a good song.

One time we brought our guitars to Rick’s neurologist’s office and we played 3 songs for Dr. Amos and his office staff. I wanted Dr. Amos to see that Rick was worth saving. Somehow, if I could show him that this person had a lot of worth, maybe he would come up with some kind of cure. I was so nervous to play in front of people but Rick wasn’t. He was a professional musician for 40 years. Over the years, Rick has forgotten some lyrics and sometimes the introductions to his songs. I find that the more we practice the better his memory is. It’s just hard to get in practice all the time with our busy lives, mine especially. It started off that I would mimic Rick’s guitar playing. I watched his hand and tried to copy him as much as possible. I copied his style and methods. Since Rick’s memory has been fading he has forgotten some of the songs, like “Big One” and “Can you use me” which is too hard for me to play also. This is even sadder because he’s the one who taught me how to play and I love these songs.

Well anyway several months ago we were playing a song and he forgot the opening riff, like to his song “Analusia” and “California” and certain parts of “Foolish Freedom.” Last night after a very hectic day we practiced and Rick played the opening riff to “California” and “Foolish Freedom” without any doubt. How? I always say when he remembers something, “I find you very attractive right now.” He did great!

The other day at the memory care facility that he goes to, he played for them as well, without me! That’s amazing! Why was he so good last night and the other day? Was it because he got a lot of sleep? Was it something that we did yesterday, running around a lot or eating light? I can’t figure it out but I’ll take it! I’m happy for any small victories now.

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