Now, almost three years after his death (I use the word death rather than "passing" because it makes it more real to me,) my life has settled into a calmer, somewhat simpler, more compassionate, more generous, and mindful way of living.
For the most part, I only do what I want to do rather than what I have to do. I have very few in any concerns, fears, or for that matter unrealistic expectations (at least based on my opinion of what expectations might be :-)
I have plenty of time to work on my numerous projects including constantly refining the condo. I have come to think of "Refining the Condo" as an art form. Make it efficient yet beautiful, make it simple yet complex, display as many of my collections as possible while still having people say, "Your place is so peaceful."
I am working in earnest on the "book" for my in-progress musical called "ALZHEIMER'S: A Musical Love Story." It is a painful process but after several months of writer's block, I now add to it every day. I really believe that the world is ready for a musical like this.
It has three threads woven together in a few hours of entertainment that hopefully, people will actually pay to see, as well as be moved, and experience, and learn! Thread One: A beautiful love story. Thread Two: Living well with Alzheimer's. Thread three: Gay Liberation (since Gregory and I, in our 41 years together, experienced all of the contemporary milestones (and millstones) in the LGBTQ+ community which brought us to this point in history.
I also have an opera, "ALZHEIMER'S: The Opera," up my sleeve. I continue to work on my memoirs, trying to reduce the number of hardback pages from 1,000 to a more reasonable number of pages which someone might actually want to buy and read! There is currently nothing on the market dealing with Alzheimer's and the LGBTQ community.
I have been and will continue to make presentations to the public which tell Gregory and my story of living well with Dementia. It always seems to be engaging to my audiences and well received. Q and A's after the presentations are spontaneous and keep me on my toes, hopefully helping those who ask the questions.
Here is a list of past presentations, future presentations, and ones in the work.
- University of Chicago Middle School Students, the Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation,
- United Methodist Church of LaGrange Illinois
- Sherman Plaza Book and Social Club
- NorthShore University Health Care System Division of Palliative Care and Hospice
- Dementia Alliance International out of Australia
- Pritzker School of Medicine - Medical Students Interest Group
- Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Business
- Great Lakes Alzheimer’s Association
- Battle Creek Congregational Church.
- Pride Film & Plays “An Evening with Michael and his Alzheimer’s Love Story”
- Pritzker School of Medicine II - Medical Students Interest Group
- 33rd Annual Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference - Chicago
- Proud Seniors Greece - May 2018 - Athens
- Teepa Snow Online Newsletter July 2018
- Evanston Art Center - June 2019
- Center on Halsted - Senior Voice Group - Sept 6, 2018
- Lori La Bay - “Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio.” - Sept 11 - Live, Sept 13 Re-broadcast
- Keynote speaker and break out session leader for MAYO Clinic and MN-MD Conference - March 2, 2019 - Minneapolis, MN
- Evanston Unitarian Church
- Article in Anthology
- JT and his documentary on Alzheimer’s
- Intentional Caregiving Inc
- DePaul University
- Northwestern University's Buddy Program for Dementia
- Rush Presbyterian St Luke
Really enjoyed the musicals "Dear Evan Hanson" and "The Band Visits." Enjoyed the legitimate theater "Boys in the Band" and "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child."
Enjoyed a slice of "New York Pizza" (flat crust) and a hot dog (definitely not Vienna Kosher) from a street vendor. Visited the new Whitney Museum of American Art and the elevated, deserted elevated railroad now changed into a wonderful elevated park that traverses several miles of Manhattan.
Especially enjoyed, and this was the reason for my going to NYC in the first place: the 35th-anniversary reunion concert of "Pump Boys and Dinettes Concert" at Feinstein's Under 54 Supper Club.
John, Gregory's college roommate and best friend, was one of the composers and stared on Broadway 35 years ago in "Pump Boys and Dinettes." It is a wonderful "feel good" musical that deals with living in a small town, life, love, and Highway 57. Four men play piano, guitar, bass, and electric guitar while they pump gas and repair cars; two women keep them in tow and serve pie at the attached dinette.
Here is a video from 35 years ago when the show had been nominated for a Tony:
And here is a video from the reunion concert in which I tip the waitresses the same way Gregory and I did some 35 years earlier when we saw the production on New York:
Gabe, by the way, was one of the people who made the documentary ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story possible. The documentary was part of his coursework at Chapman University, Dodge School of Media Arts, in Orange, California. It went on to be accepted to over 90 film festivals worldwide and won over 35 awards including two from the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival!
My cats, Emma and Gigi, continue to give me great love, affection, and joy as well as cat hair and dirty liter boxes. They both just turned 4 years old.
What a lot about me but since it is my BLOG I can do what I want to! Hahaha, I guess you can understand why while I have been writing, it has been project-based and not necessarily showing up on this BLOG.
Here is a link to a recent article which was published in "Positive Care in Dementia Online Newsletter." which has a subscription of 20,000 readers. Will be interesting to see if there is any response to the article. Click here to go to "ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story" (Opens in a new window.)