Thursday, April 30, 2009

For my mom

The following story came across my email (from my dear f-i-l). He knows full well my own dear mom is a victim of Alzheimer's and is moving into the severe phase. She's in a wheelchair and speaks only a handful of words now. Swallowing is starting to become difficult, but if we cut up her food small enough and work with her, she can still mostly feed herself. She lives with my Dad, with great help from all the kids. Most of the time, nothing clicks in her eyes. She cannot even remember her prayers, which, if you knew my mom, is more of a loss than speech. Sometimes it's hard to see her like this. She's just a shell. But this little story explains how you can find blessings even in a situation like hers.

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.
I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.
I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?' He smiled as he patted my hand and said,
'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'
I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arms, and thought, 'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'
True love is neither physical, nor romantic.
True love
is an acceptance of
all that is,
has been,
will be,
and will not be.

Love you mom!

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