He Did Not Understand

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He did not understand why we were there or who we were but he was smiling and laughing. I took nine 7th graders to visit a few people in our parish who are not well. Each holiday the 7th graders have a group of kids who put together gift baskets to take when they visit the parish members. This was my son’s turn so I was one of the drivers. We entered the house welcomed by his very loving wife. She was so excited that we were there to bring our youth, our smiles and our good cheer. He had a smile on his face and seemed to be listening but also a bit confused. He seemed pleased by our gift basket and by our very presence there with him.

Aging; dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory loss and the like take those precious minds hostage. But we smile, we hug, we visit and we try to bring positive energy. But they are not the person they once were it is evident in the loved one who speaks to them on our behalf; the loved one who will care for them until the end, the one who dedicated her life to him all those years ago only to lose part of who he is today. I feel sure she still catches glimpses of him, the laughter, the touch, the look in his eyes. She is his loving wife and although he may not understand she will translate it all for her man.

It only lasted moments for us maybe 20 minutes but we were there and it lifted her spirits knowing someone cares. He may not understand everything now but he understands love and kindness no matter how much he has lost. God bless the couple caring for each other until death do they part.

Copyright 2012 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. She blogs at multiple online venues including Patheos. Her articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and the Catholic Press Association tour of Israel as a guest of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism. Hendey lives with her family in the Diocese of Fresno, California.

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