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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