Dementia can take so much from a person and their loved ones, making the moments when their “old selves” shine through that much more precious.
That’s what happened when 89-year-old Elinor Hanson met her one-day-old great-grandson, her daughter Connie Hanson Coleman tells Today.com.
A song that she’d sung to her five children, 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren came right back to her when the newborn was in her arms: A Bushel and a Peck.
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In a video shared with Today.com. Hanson gets choked up as she sings,
“I love you, a bushel and a peck,
A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck
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A hug around the neck and a barrel and a heap
A barrel and a heap and I’m talkin’ in my sleep
About you, about you
‘Cause I love you.”
Coleman says it’s the moment in the video just before her mom starts singing that took her back to the time before she had dementia.
“It’s when she says, ‘OK, it goes like this, now you’re listening?’ That’s my mom that I remember,” she tells Today.com. She spoke of how involved her mom was in her children’s and grandchildren’s lives.
In addition to being a “musical lady” who sang in choirs and at weddings, her daughter says, “she was like the cookie-baking kind of grandma.”
Her mom has had dementia for years, Coleman says, but things progressed more rapidly after her dad, Hanson’s husband and primary caretaker, passed away in 2020.
Coleman moved from her home in Georgia to Providence, Utah, to take on the role of caretaker for her mom in the home where she’s lived for 48 years.
“I didn’t want her to move, it’s what she knows, “ Coleman says.
Hanson has one more great-grandchild on the way and Coleman has no doubt she’ll sing to them too when they meet.
And while the babies won’t remember their great-grandmother singing to them, they’ll have the videos to look back on, plus a message from Coleman: “She just loved you all so much.”
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: