Through all these memories from all these years
There is but one alone that's always here
And fills my heart with joy as I recall
The way it made me feel and I remember
That distant memories are never far
It only takes a dream and here you are
And once again my eyes look in to yours
And know the only truth that ever matters
And live my deepest Love again with you
A distant memory and always new
It was only in January 2021 that I became aware of Paul Harvey.
Paul is a composer, and at 80 has had a long and notable life in music as a concert pianist and also a music teacher.
But now he suffers with dementia, which is an evil, evil beast that steals away people that you love one piece at a time, gloating openly whilst doing so because ultimately it can not yet be stopped.
But his music can at times lift him out of that for a while, and when back sitting at his piano he becomes more present again, can play, compose and more as he always has done.
In fact he brilliantly improvised a piece of music from just 4 starting notes given to him, which was heard by the BBC and subsequently arranged for the BBC Symphony Orchestra whose recording of it reached the top of the Amazon and iTunes charts! Go Paul!!
And in January he composed a short Piece that he had previously told his son Nick he was working on, and it was Nick's video of him playing it that then was my introduction to such an inspirational man.
That short Piece, unbearably beautiful but less than 2 minutes long, and named by Paul
"Distant Memories", called to me instantly to
write its only-words, a poem-as-lyric which that beautiful piece of music had
drawn from me.
I too have a parent suffering with dementia, my lovely mother who at 98 is now much-declined and needs constant residential care after mild initial presentations
in her 80s gradually deepened. Perhaps those words
that came to me are from many that have lived in me
So I created this lyric video so that Nick might show Paul
how much his creation had brought to others' lives.
But when I posted that lyric video online for Paul's many friends and admirers and newly-aware
others to see, I was not prepared for how large the reaction might be.
Many sent messages saying how much it had resonated with them through having loved ones of their
own battling with this nasty, insidious disease, or had lost someone because of it.
It was a mountain of response.
Whilst everyone knows that dementia is an awful illness, those whose lives have been touched
by it directly know just how
truly devastating it actually is.
composed and played by Paul Harvey
esearch is continuing and constantly looking for a cure, but until then also looking for ways to relieve
or perhaps halt its all-consuming progress.
And music is one way that has been able to have some impact on that, though it is not yet fully understood nor yet effective
enough. But if you ask the families of those who at times come back to them whole for even short unpredictable periods, they will tell
you through their tears just how precious it is to have someone back
even just briefly.
Like Paul, and without those returns there would not be the continuing gift of his music for us
all ... and some very special times still for Nick.
But currently this very-real effect is neither a permanent one nor linked to any reversal, though more
is being uncovered that adds to our awareness of both the disease and also this incredible
off-switch of music.
Perhaps the breakthrough is ten years away, or five, or perhaps only one year, or maybe perhaps will come
tomorrow! But it won't come at all if the work that is being done to get it here fails to continue, which takes support and money to oil its
wheels just the same as much of life does.
So please, PLEASE, if you can manage to make even a small donation, and whether just once or
more often, don't hold back from doing so as any amount at all makes a difference when any improvement at all is
nothing less than a miracle for the time it is present.
Donate online via the above link
Donate by phone on 0330 333 0804
Donate by texting "Cure £3", "Cure £5", OR "Cure £10" to 70144
Donate by post by completing THIS form and sending it with your donation to:
Freepost RTLT-SSCX-RZUA, Fundraising Team, Alzheimer's Society
Scott Lodge, Scott Road, Plymouth, Devon PL2 3DU
*Donations will be acknowledged by post
**Cheques/postal orders should be made payable to 'Alzheimer's Society'
***Unfortunately cash can't be accepted for security reasons
Visit the Music For Dementia website at the above link to learn more
about the magic that music can work.