Brenda’s Blog – January 2, 2018
“May I have a glass of white wine with my lunch, please?”
I spent the day with a friend who recently moved into a skilled nursing facility. At nearly 95, moves can be upsetting. We went through the morning protocol learning the new routines. Then we rolled down to lunch.
The level of decline is so apparent around the dining room tables. It is tempting to shrink away, wanting to ignore the inevitability of extreme aging – and perhaps dementia. But there are also special moments when the present reality slips away and a delightful world blossoms.
The lovely woman was having lunch with her visiting husband. I am sure she envisioned herself at lunch with her sweetheart, ordering a nice glass of white wine to accompany their luncheon. The aides kindly reminded her the choices were water, tea, milk, and cranberry juice.
A friend of mine worked with his father-in-law in commercial development. When his dementia required moving to a facility which offered more day to day care, he still enjoyed visits from his son-in-law. One day they walked down the hall of the nursing home. Out of the blue the father-in-law asked in a loud voice: “When in the heck did we buy this place? What were we thinking?” They hadn’t and yet that was his point of reference.
I don’t want that season to arrive any time soon. There are probably few who look forward to a current reality which includes loss of connection. However, our life plan is guided by a God who understands sweet women who order white wine in a dining hall filled with wheelchairs… or a man who couldn’t figure out why they had made an investment into a long-term facility. God knows and loves.
And so should we. This is a strange blog, isn’t it? The bottom line is a call to kindness, and patience. We shouldn’t distance ourselves from those whose capacity is impaired. We should reach out with a touch, and a time of looking into their eyes, knowing their lives matter. Life is precious – all the way to the last breath. We can be a blessing to the very young, and certainly to the very old!