Friday, June 29, 2012

The Last Dance

This applies mainly to the guys but the sentiments touch everyone. Have you ever danced with your mother? At our oldest daughter's wedding several years ago, as part of the ceremony, the father dances with the bride. That was neat too for it was the first time I had ever danced with her! But while I am dancing with her, I realized I had never danced with my mother and that this would be a great time to do it!
The wedding was in September and it was a couple of days after we had a close call with a hurricane. When my mother was married, it was also in September and it was the day after the great New England hurricane of 1944. So I went up to the DJ and told him about my mother and how she was married right after a hurricane, etc and would he mention that and say that her son would like to dance to her favorite song-Anne Murray's Could I Have This Dance for the Rest of My Life. So the DJ asked for everyone's attention, and told them that the grandmother of the bride was married on a similar day back in 1944. My mother was just sitting at one of the tables and all of a sudden realized the DJ was talking about her. So she looked up and  then the DJ said her son would like to dance with her.  She had a big surprised look on her face!The DJ asked that my mother and I dance for about the first minute and then everyone else join in.
 What an emotional moment that was. Mom and I dancing to that song and the entire wedding celebration came to a stop. The waiters and waitresses, carrying drinks and plates of food, stopped to watch. All the attendees stood still. Many of them had tears in their eyes.  The MC, who had been doing weddings for over 20 years, told me later that was the most emotional moment he had ever seen at a wedding.
  A few years later Mom had to go into a nursing home. She had Alzheimers and the disease had progressed so much that aides and my sister couldn't take care of her at home anymore. The night before Mom went into the nursing home, we had a last dinner at home. Mom loved George's Pizza and chicken tenders so we had that and a glass of wine. After dinner my sister put the Anne Murray CD on and played Could I Have This Dance and I danced with my mother in the kitchen. My sister took a picture of us dancing and I keep it  now on the bookcase right next to my computer table and look at it all the time.
  Mom died of Alzheimers in 2007 and since then I developed a presentation called Alzheimer's Lessons Learned. I go around and give talks to various community groups about the disease and what we went through. I talk about being prepared if your loved one has to go into a nursing home and how emotional it can be, and I pass that picture around of Mom and I dancing in the kitchen that last time. There are not too many dry eyes!
  A couple of weeks ago  my sister on the Cape was driving around doing errands and the Anne Murray song came on the radio. She had to pull off the road and wait for the tears to stop! So guys, if you have never danced with your mother, do it at the next family event or wedding.You may never get the chance again. Mom's birthday is in a couple of days. She would have been 92. I wish she was here so I could have this dance one more time.