Elinor Hanson, 89, had sung this lullaby to her five children, 18 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren.
According to Alzheimer's Disease International, there were over 55 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2020 and the number will almost double every 20 years. Dementia can take away so much from the life of the patient and their loved ones. Even a glimpse of what the person used to make their loved ones happy. This happened when 89-year-old Elinor Hanson, who has dementia, met her one-day-old great-grandson, her daughter Connie Hanson Coleman told TODAY.
A song that she’d sung to her five children, 18 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren came right back to her as she held the newborn in her arms, A Bushel and a Peck. In a video shared by Coleman on Instagram, 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, 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 said it was the moment in the video just before her mom started singing that took her back to the time before she had dementia. “It’s when she says, ‘o.k. it goes like this, now you’re listening?’ that’s my mom that I remember,” she said.
She was a “musical lady” who sang in choirs and at weddings and her daughter added, “she was like the cookie-baking kind of grandma.”
Her mom has had dementia for years, Coleman said, but her health deteriorated more rapidly after her dad, Hanson’s husband, and primary caretaker passed away in 2020.
SEE IT: When 89-year-old Elinor Hanson held her day-old great-grandson, something wonderful happened: A song that she’d sung to her five children, 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren came right back to her. https://t.co/eJ9Iak3cFK— NBC4 Washington (@nbcwashington) February 6, 2023
Coleman shifted 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 said. Hanson will have another great-grandchild soon 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, there will be videos to look back on, and a message from Coleman, “She just loved you all so much.”
Coleman captioned the video, "Great-grandma meeting and holding her newest great-grandson and singing a song she sang to all the grandkids. A song my kids know very well. I love you a bushel and a peck. This night made her so happy. It’s amazing how the brain can lose so much but the music somehow stays. Music really is amazing for healing and memory."
Many on Instagram were touched by the video, @ruthiekiddlepatch commented, "the sweetest video ever. Both my dad and my brother suffered from Dementia. It is such a cruel disease. I’m so glad this family will have this video to remember this sweet lady for years to come." @drea_m_macias wrote, "Thank you for sharing this! My mom used to tell this to one of my daughters..we lost her a year ago. This is so sweet!!!" @lindakayok commented, "My mom used to sing this to me as well. She has dementia. I’ll have to see if her brain remembers this as well. 🤗"
Representative Cover Image: Getty Images