My mother was storing away her sewing supplies. She saved everything and neatly put things away for future use. That is her writing up there on those paper labels. Labels made from recycled scraps of envelopes, the back unused sides of writing papers...she used everything. It is plain to see she has thread in a plastic bag, buttons in a paper sack, rug & embroidery hooks (she misspelled embroidey...a clue) each bag carefully tagged.
My Mother was leaving visual reminders to herself in the most practical of ways. One with Alzheimer's can look at a spool of thread in a plastic bag. Plainly seeing it's color, shape, and might even take it out and hold it in wonder. Searching for meaning in this relic of the moments just gone by. Clenching the fingers aged with knobs of arthritis around its smooth surface and with mind racing in a windstorm of noise be unable to remember it's everyday name. It is hard to imagine being in that spot. We all forget momentarily why we walked into the kitchen or where we set our keys last...this is so much more. This is the loss of controll of everyday actions and thoughts. This is scary stuff. My mother fixed this problem for years without mentioning her vast unknown fears to us her family. She labeled every plain everyday thing. Took notes and then copied them over again and again.
Mom also copied down what was important to her. Left little pieces of paper with quotes that were important enough to be transcribed and left behind. The things she wanted to remember to say to us, or hear again herself.
"The sky is full of blue
and full of the mind
from book "Dakota"
Christian love is the
of intelligent good will
Vintage collectibles. So much more meaning when you think of how easily things can be forgotten. We treasure everyday objects because they are what our daily lives are made of. What we build our futures with. The thoughts, readings, buttons, threads that bring us to our eventual end. If you loose the 'thread' of it you have lost yourself. Alzheimer's is just as devastating to minds and lives as the land fills that so greedily cover up and rot our possessions.
If you look at the CT scan of a brain with Alzheimer's you plainly see vast dark areas of nothing amidst the remains of functioning matter. In this way it is like collecting vintage. You cherish the broken bits of pottery as you hope you find all the missing pieces to the set of Grandmother's silver. What bits you can no longer find or retrieve you will regret, tell their story and remember. If you are so unlucky as to have lost the memory then you can only hope to find your notes.