Two Septembers ago I moved my mother to New York. She was in the mid stages of Alzheimer's. I had no idea what I was getting in to. But there was no question I would be there for her.
We had quite an adventure. My "real life" was on the back burner... my "career" all but halted. But our very vivid, much more "real" life together - was a gift.
I cared for mom at home until she passed away last January 31. I haven't written too much about the aftermath here. In some ways it is as grueling and brilliant as the trek through her dementia. She was a character. In fact I've always thanked her on stage for all the good material. Ironically, in her last two years, I think she finally found HER audience. Me. She was funny, she was impossible. My only instinct still: write it, sing it, tell it. It was her instinct too: Almost daily she would say, "Boolie, (my nickname) "That's good! are you getting this down? We should make a play out of it!!"
I was getting it down. And I have written a play. It is my songs, her poems, our stories enmeshed. It's the hardest most rewarding thing I've ever done, all of it.
My show is called "My Mother Has Four Noses" - (no, it's not a metaphor) - but more about that in the "play."
Thanks to City Theatre in Pittsburgh, I was able to do an early reading of MMHFN a few months ago. The response was more than I could have hoped for and gave me the courage to actually mount this. I am working on the record of the new songs, and I am planning a series of workshops to fine-tune the play before I bring it to the world.
This is my story, but it's everyone's story. I don't know anybody whose life hasn't been touched in some way by this disease.
"My Mother Has Four Noses" is a comedy, a tragedy, but mostly a love story. And Mom would have insisted that I tell it. "How many people do YOU know who can say they have FOUR noses?" she would always crack. She would have been 81 on Election day.
Go HERE to learn more, and be a part of bringing "My Mother Has Four Noses" to life.