JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Memory Book

I want to thank the Alz Hub blog for giving me the idea of creating a memory book. This is a book of photographs of a person's life in chronological order with notes about what is going on in the pictures. An actual, hard bound book. I didn't realize that companies did this.

My mom spends a lot of her day just ruffling through everything in her room. She likes to have things to show off to people. Last month or so, I put up framed certificates of hers, and she goes over them with everyone who goes into her room. They really mean a lot to her, even though she doesn't quite understand what they're from; she recognizes her name and feels honored.

I looked on some of the photo store websites, and they have some really nice photo books. I started making a photo book for my mom, and then I realized that none of the early pictures of her are digital, so I'm not quite sure how to get them to the websites. I think what I may have to do is take a bunch of pictures to Kinkos or something and get them scanned and onto a CD. I looked online and am guessing that anywhere with a photo station - even a pharmacy or Target will have a machine I can use to scan the photographs in and then download to a CD. I acutally have a decent scanner here, but I don't have one in Kansas City - and all of the good pictures are in KC. ( though can make a book for about $30, which isn't bad.

I think this will be a good thing for my mom too because she'll be encouraged to be reading, remembering specific memories and people from her past, and just give her something productive to do when she's alone in her room - although I bet she'll show it to everyone who comes to visit her.



Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

I've thought of that too. I've also started putting little photo montages on the wall. Groupings of wedding pictures from her siblings for instance. On one wall in the living room we have a family tree from her side that a cousin drew for us - I've been putting family photos on either side of it. Then there's the WWII wall with dad's flag and certificate from the WWII memorial, plus an old era-appropriate radio and a framed newspaper from December 7, 1941; also photos of family members from that time period. Anyway, just lots of different things on the walls all over the house.

Friday, July 14, 2006 11:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Peg Lee said...

I made a memory disk of my mom using the hp memory disk can add pictues plus music and play it in a dvd player...very nice idea.

Friday, July 14, 2006 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger Gail Rae said...

Good idea! My mother has always been fascinated with photographs and the memories they evoke. I once asked her about this and she said, "I like to look at the picture and think about what the people were thinking at the time." We have photographs scattered (literally) all over the house. My mother is delighted every time she rediscovers them. She always peruses them as though they are "new". Perhaps I should consider a memory book. Then, I won't need to rely on "scatter" to encourage her delight. Thanks, Karma.

Saturday, July 15, 2006 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Deb Peterson said...

My situation is like Gail's--photos all over the place. This is a terrific idea, Karma. Plus, I think it would give my mother something to focus on: a job to do. I could dig out the memorabilia and let her go through it before deciding what to put into the book. Wonderful!

Saturday, July 15, 2006 6:58:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

I didn't even think about having her help with it; even better, Deb. I'm always looking for projects for us to do together. We did flower arranging with these dried flowers that are in her room, and she pointed at them for ages, remembering that we did it together. The thing I'm not sure about is if she'll remember the things in the pictures, she doesn't always even recognize herself as a girl in pictures. Also, since she's at an ALF, I would have to bring whatever pictures to her and probably work in a common area...I wouldn't want anything to happen to the pictures. I'll have to think through this on my plane trip tomorrow :)

Sunday, July 16, 2006 9:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you decided to do this, I sent you an email about it a while ago, but it got lost in the shuffle. What a great way to relive all the good times. I'll bet your mom will ask you to look at it all the time! Maybe even your father will want to see it when it's complete.

Monday, July 17, 2006 7:54:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Sorry, I wasn't able to even think about something like this a couple of months ago. Even now seeing her, it is hard to take on doing something extra. There are so many little mini-crises.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 8:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No problem at all! As you know, I'm a very visual person, and there are many things that can trigger one's memory. For example, old report cards, etc. Recently I found some old boxes full of dance cards, reports, things my brother and I did at school....those sorts of things may also work in evoking memories of you and your sister. Best of luck with that, and if there's any scanning I can do, I'd be more than happy if you mailed me a packet of pics. Anything I can do to help photo-wise please let me know. S.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Keith (AlzHub) said...

I happy to see that you like the idea of the memory book and are passing it along. I really like that others are expanding on the idea in their comments. I hope it works out as well for you as it did for me.

Monday, July 24, 2006 6:53:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

I ordered it from Kodak finally. It took me a couple of hours to put together, but they shipped it the same day! They also have all of these great borders, so I think the book is going to look really impressive, and that after my mom dies, this will probably become a family heirloom.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 4:42:00 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

Mom got her book, and she just loves it. I did have a problem though that Kodak cut off a bunch of the captions; they claim it is a bug in their program.

Anyway, mom shows the book off to others, it helps her remember particular memories and people. I'm really glad that I did this. She keeps saying "I REALLY like this book."

Friday, August 04, 2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

If anyone else wants to try this, you can use this coupon code: BOOKS30 to get 30% off at until August 9.

Sunday, August 06, 2006 9:18:00 AM  

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