Throwback Thursday: tjb2010101501

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Dementia is a terrible thing. It steals a person’s mind a little bit at a time… for a long time.

This Zentangle was created by my Mother-in-Law for my birthday in 2010. I was tangling with her very often, teaching her various tangles and techniques. I thought it would be good for her. She had had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. She was on a lot of medication. I thought that tangling would help her by lowering her blood pressure and taking her mind off of her problems.

A few years passed. I realized that she probably had some kind of dementia. She couldn’t remember the names of tangles any more. She would get lost while tangling and forget what she was doing. However, she was able to draw on occasion and was showing other people in the complex, where she lived her Zentangles.

After a few more years, she moved to another state. She was finally diagnosed with dementia. At this point, she had given away all of her Zentangle stuff. She wasn’t even totally sure what it was for.

I don’t know what has happened to her drawings. I wish I did know, I would like to have them, if she is no longer interested.

More importantly, I wish she was still able to tangle. She no longer lives near me, but if she did, I would draw with her. I don’t know how much she would remember, but I wouldn’t mind teaching her again, day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute… If it made her happy and helped her days pass more comfortably.

I miss her.

For more information about Alzheimer’s and dementia, please check out

Zentangle drawn on Strathmore Vellum Bristol using a black, Micron pen. Shading done with graphite pencil.

Tangles: Bales Onamato