Archive for February, 2014

The Lady Diaz

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on February 27, 2014 by Gwendolen De Lacy
Maggie at Fannie's, Inkerman St 1989

Maggie at Fannie’s, Inkerman St 1989 G De Lacy © 2014

Last night, Maggie refused to attend her own birthday party.  To make it perfectly clear, she rejected the need to insert her ‘falsies’, apply her brows or do that stunning thing she used to do with lipstick and a mirror. Maggie Diaz has dementia.  She knows me, but she thinks I’m the photographer and that I run a newspaper.  When I show her scans or framed photographs on the wall, she can no longer recall the moment that she took them. Only a year ago, she was still able to give commentary on ALL of her images – even if she couldn’t recall eating lunch.

Friendship is not over.  Connection is not dead.  She lives between two worlds, but what’s strange is that it feels like we’ve already said our fond farewells – many times.

As it happens, a few party goers and I, gradually lured MD into Graze on Grey for a cocktail.  Once again, she was in her element – surrounded by her own photographs and flirting with the only two men at the table.  But the most joyful moment for me, was when she spied Kristy – a gorgeous young woman, who recently purchased a Diaz print as a surprise for her boyfriend.  MD took one look at her and “shot her quick”.  She didn’t need a camera – she just knew what she was looking for and expressed that clearly.  Everyone saw it happen and it was delightful.

As we wheeled Maggie back to her room, she seemed happy and ready for bed – no longer agitated.

Sometimes her irritation is purely physical – it’s like she wants to get out of her chair, but doesn’t know where she wants to go.  Sometimes it’s like she’s stirred by incomplete thoughts and memories that cause her to want to pace and wander.  The staff tell me that it’s after my visits that she usually heads for the gate.  I hope that tonight she won’t be left with the same inclination.  We all feel it as we hover around her room, guilty to be creating so much excitement, only to be leaving her in complete silence.  Happily she waves us off – relieved to be finally tucked up in bed, surrounded by the most beautiful birthday tulips and roses – in reds, pinks and yellows.

Thank you to everyone who came along and to our consummate hosts Neil Perch and Mohammad Ahmat at Graze on Grey.  The Lady Diaz never tasted so good!

Extra special thanks to Trudy Schuringa for recording the event – please enjoy a selection of images by Trudy below.

Maggie sips a Lady Diaz with Kristy watching on... By Trudy Schuringa © 2014

Maggie sips a Lady Diaz with Kristy watching on…
By Trudy Schuringa
© 2014

Maggie's 89th birthday 16

Our photographer, Trudy Schuringa – laughing because Maggie is making Brent blush!

Maggie's 89th birthday 6 Maggie's 89th birthday 8 Maggie's 89th birthday 9 Maggie's 89th birthday 10 Maggie's 89th birthday 13Maggie at the tableMaggie and allMaggie and wendyMaggie and Gabrielle  Maggie's 89th birthday

All images above by Trudy Schuringa Photography © 2014

All images above by Trudy Schuringa Photography © 2014

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