Book Project: Our memories inform our personality and the inability to remember really shakes me to my core. However, spending the last year of my father’s life by his side as he suffered from progressive dementia changed both my perceptions and my expectations about this notion.
To put it mildly, my father George loved old movies, especially the genre known as Film Noir. Born in 1927 his quirky sense of humor was defined early on by his love for the language, persona and style of those early film characters. I reflect upon the surreal component that defined his existence, and these portraits taken in my dad’s last year of life as he struggled through that progressing veil of dementia glimpse into his strong yet sometimes-vulnerable personality. He inhabited a world where the blurred lines of reality and illusion were literally melded together and although his awareness was not in the past or present; he faded from this life in a very gentle, accepting way.
A life-long hypnotist and jazz pianist with an edge for the dramatic, my father truly embodied the film genre he loved so much, right up until the day he died. This series of portraits documents my father’s many moods, alter egos and moments in between during this bittersweet yet enlightening journey.
#GeorgeMyDadInTheHat (instagram) initiated (and continues) a dialogue with others, many also touched by Alzheimer’s and progressive dementia.