The Devil May Care

Ice cream is a shared love between me & my father; I often take him to a local shoppe for a midday treat. It’s the best small batch ice cream ever with unique flavor combos. The ice cream is smooth, creamy and sometimes crunchy; perfect to satisfy any craving! And, have to say, the customer service rocks. Catch is Papa suffers from some version of dementia--not officially diagnosed, yet more than “just” getting old. So, getting him there is quite difficult. Mere words don’t explain the havoc dementia, a devilish disease, wreaks on the ones who suffer from it and on the family members and other carers who love them.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with ice cream—in one sitting bowls and bowls of the stuff have filled my tummy. Talk about emotional eating! During these rampages, I think to myself “The Devil may care, but I don’t!” And I dig in.

Of course, the great irony is that I do care. A lot.  About everything from the devasting effects of dementia to just how much ice cream soothes my soul and torments it. For me, ice cream is a bittersweet treat; kind of like dementia itself. I am blessed to share these moments with Papa; yet, at what cost? How can something so bad, like dementia, lead to so many truly special and good memories?? We laugh a lot together about silly things, like trying to catch flies or the fact that we are always exchanging “Whats??” because we can’t hear eachother over the TV! Then, I go to bed and cry.

In painting this series, I draw attention to both the joy and suffering that ice cream & dementia bring. This work is a starting point for us to discuss realities of demenia, and I encourage others to join me in practicing patience and compassion for all people affected by it . The series is acrylic on canvas, sometimes with mixed media including salt dough & antique kitchen utensils.

In support of those who are on this journey, I donate 2% of profits from the sale of The Devil May Care pieces to the Del Oro Caregiver Resource Center, serving 13 counties including Sacramento and Yolo.

New, derivative, & commisioned TDMC pieces available by special order. Contact me for details.

Key facts About Dementia From the World Health Organization (as of 2019):

  • Dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform everyday activities.

  • Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not a normal part of ageing.

  • Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year.

  • Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases.

  • Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide.

  • Dementia has a physical, psychological, social, and economic impact, not only on people with dementia, but also on their carers, families and society at large.

For more information regarding dementia visit The World Health Organization,  the Alzheimer’s Association, and Del Oro  websites