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Shining through a dementia diagnosis

A recent photography contest awarded three winners for their self-portraits. All of the contestants have dementia or Alzheimer’s and was organized by the Bob and Diane Fund.

demenitaphotowinner

Elia Luciani’s self-portrait from a mirror on a dresser covered with family photographs. (Elia Luciani). Please make sure to check out the photo behind Elia in her self portrait.

As I poured over the image, I immediately broke into a laugh when I saw the portrait she has hanging on the wall behind her. Not only is family an obvious piece of the photographers sense of self, but I have to assume that is her with her hands above her head making a silly face in a similarly set-up self portrait by someone else … maybe even a husband.

I savored the moments when my gracious Mother shined through her dementia. There were days when she immediately knew me and would talk about the family, or reflect on what my Dad would have said if were still alive about something fantastic in my life that I shared with her. She wasn’t able to ever perceive her cognitive loss, but just knew that “her brain was bad.” I missed her terribly when she was alive, and that loss carries on with me now that she is gone.

I hope you will take the time to view the winners and honorable mentions. It’s inspiring to see how many are living with, adapting and shining brightly after their diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Awed.

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