When dealing with AD, it’s easy to get frustrated. What we’ve learned is to avoid confrontation and never argue, agree. We try to distract, that’s the ticket! We are navigating through this world of Alzheimer’s and we have to figure things out on the fly. Everyday when I leave Rick wants to come to work with me. Faby is there, Noir is there but he is always devastated. So to make him happy I try to distract him. The game that I made up is that I look at him with a serious face and after a few seconds start laughing. He follows suit. I look right into his beautiful blue eyes as if he is saying something or whatever looking around then he sees me looking at him with this serious face and he gets a serious look too and after a few seconds, we both laugh. We have a little contest to see who will break a smile or laugh first. This really cracks us up!
We also do this thing where you tuck your upper lip under your teeth and look like Fire Marshall Bill from In Living Color. Faby does this with Rick too. He loves it! The silliest things make Rick laugh. My sister can always crack him up. She just looks at him and he laughs. She’s known him longer than me and she actually was the one who brought me to his shows when he was rocker Freddy Moore. As part of one of his songs “you give me reason to live” he used to come out into the audience and grab some girl or sit on someones lap. Most of the time it was my sister because he knew that she could handle the attention. I would have died if he would come towards me. I was really shy and the spotlight would be on him and whomever he was grabbing or sitting on and all that attention was on her.
I think that we were soul mates from the start, if you believe in that. He is the only person that I could really be myself around. I didn’t have to be the good daughter or please anyone. I was just myself. I also loved that he was high on life, not drugs or alcohol. That’s what really drew me to him.
Thankfully Rick would watch all my cartoons with me. We watched the Smurfs and his favorite was jokey Smurf. Even now he does this fake smile and laughs like hee hee hee. During our relationship we had fun watching cartoons because I have always loved cartoons and Rick was on the road with his bands so much that he missed out on the whole television watching stuff. We would watch Ren and Stimpy and quote the shows to everyone. My nephews loved it. We watched Pinky and the Brain and at random say “fjord!” We made up nicknames for each other Boshk and Boshky. I don’t know it’s just something that we came up with. We even made up words for objects or sayings like they used to do in England; cockney rhyming slang. Instead of saying put the heater on, we say Francois Mitterand. We call a remote control a cloid, I think that came from when we would say clicker because in the old days the remotes were these big things that you used to click the buttons, coffee is corfu, dinner is dingbut, diarrhea is diho. We would say rub your tub for rubbing your belly. We would say put on plute juice which was deodorant. I have no idea why on that one. We would say I have to pee like a banshee. My sisters were the yistoads. My parents were rental units. Work was jerk. I know that this is silly and I have never told this to anyone except maybe to Shannon (who is the co-writer of Rick’s memoir) or my sisters or Faby. Nobody knows this intimate part of our lives but I am telling the world this stuff. I am saying it out loud because he doesn’t remember anymore. He doesn’t remember anything and our memories are getting lost forever so I need to share this so that it doesn’t completely disappear. Thank you for reading this and feel free to comment. firstname.lastname@example.org