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September 29, 2006


ch in tx

Elvis knows what it's like, doesn't he David. I went to Mother's last night to fix her dinner. There were 3 of us and she set 4 places. She kept asking "where are the boys?" (me and my brother) "It's getting dark, they shouldn't play so late. Where are the boys?" I'm not ashamed to admit I must have a good cry now and then!

David Vance


I understand exactly - it's poignant song that brings a tear this side of the Atlantic.


Hard going to listen to. It makes me think of one particular visit to my father in hospital and he was just one of a group of old men which were just sitting round in a circle not able to communicate with each other. My mother hid her distress at the time but she was desparate to get him home. He was there because of some stomach disorders but beinging in the geriatric ward with other who were so much more advanced in dememtia accelerated his.

Ch it is really hard when a parent becomes the child and doesn't know who you are. I never beleived that my father would even not know me and when I went in to see him and I took his hand and my mother said to him"now who's this. He looked up at me with no recognoitionand said "I don't know". It had been an unwrooten rule that we kept oursleves composed and as jolly as we could when with my father, taking our cue from my mother but I failed and try as I did the tears flowed and he still didn't know who I was but was clearly confused as to why this (to him) strange young woman was crying. After that sometimes he knew me sometimes he didn't. A few days afterwards one of my brothers suddendly pointed to me and said to him "who's that?" and he said very definitely and I like to think with a degree of paternal pride "that's my daughter!" It nearly set me off again for very different reasons.

David Vance


It IS hard going to listen to - but it is also quite a beautiful lyric on a very sensitive subject. I wanted to thank you and Chas for sharing your experiences on this. It's not at all easy.


Elvis Costello's, (Veronica), hits hard and hits home. Last Sunday we were gathered again, waiting for the inevitable, the final farewell. On Tuesday, my son's birthday there she was, full of eighty year old vigour - larger than life at Asda the supermarket with my sister. Mum knew young Parnell, she did,nt know me. Happy birthday son, heres your present - she didn't know me! I am a stranger. That's the way its been for more than a decade, a terrible beauty. Maybe she,ll depart tomorrow or maybe in twenty years. Whenever when dosen't realy matter. Once I was her baby - now she's mine, the connection of the umbilical cord cannot be broken. I loved her and needed her once, I still do.

David Vance


Thanks for that - it's a sad world at times.

Tom Tyler

Whatever his politics, Costello has always been a gifted songwriter, knowing how to put the human touch into his songs. Although I have no experience of this subject, I enjoyed the song.
Perhaps such devastating illnesses can serve as a reminder that we are all here to serve each other, and provide an opportunity for us to repay our parents/grandparents for when they looked after us as kids. That was my experience looking after my Dad who died of motor neurone disease (the opposite of Alzheimer's in that it affects the body painlessly, while leaving the intellect untouched).


Jeez, me too. My Dad has it.

What is it with this damned disease? It seems to be a lot more common now. I don't know how many regular readers ATW has but the fact that half-a-dozen of us have had similar experiences must say something about its high incidence.

Is it just because we are living longer now and in days gone by, TB or Typhoid would have killed us off before dementia?


Steve, It think that there is a lot in you concluding paragraph. The thought that there is considered to eb a strong genetic element is not reassuring either.

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