Thursday, October 31, 2013

Living in the Moment

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. -- Matthew 6:34

My grandmother has dementia and no longer knows who I am. 

I went to visit her Tuesday afternoon at the nursing home.  She was bright and chipper, sitting in the hallway outside her room with a smile and a fresh hair-do.  I told her who I was, and she asked me to come close so that she could get a better look at me.  She always knows my dad, so I told her to see if she could see any of her son in my face.  She shook her head and smiled and the nurse wheeled her into her room so that we could visit a little more privately.

As usual, our visit was surreal.  I found myself having the exact same conversation with her every 5 minutes - that's about all she can process before her mind dumps it all and she's back at the beginning.  We discussed family relationships (though it confused her) then moved onto simpler things - like her morning beauty parlor visit, her anticipation of Bingo that afternoon (that's one thing that she does consistently remember!), and what she was going to do, and not do, at therapy that afternoon.  After 20 minutes, one of the nurses came to escort her to her session of therapy and then on to Bingo.  I wished her an afternoon of fun, and she wheeled off down the hall, giggling.

I drove home, pensive over our visit.  My thoughts held no sorrow.  This grandmother and I never had much of a relationship in past years for a very long list of reasons . . . water under the bridge.  But I realized that interacting with my grandmother in recent months has taught me something very valuable.  She is a living picture of what it looks like to live in the moment.  My grandmother has no worries.  She doesn't remember bad times or difficult situations.  She holds no grudges because she doesn't remember them.  She doesn't fret about what tomorrow may hold, because she doesn't have the ability to do so.  She simply lives.  Right here and right now.  She delights in an afternoon of Bingo and laughing with her nurse and gleefully telling me what she won't be doing at therapy.  And though there is an element of sadness to her life because of all that she can't remember, there is also something very appealing about it.

I guess that's why He tells us to not worry about tomorrow.  To laugh and love and delight and sorrow in the moment and not hold too tightly to the things of earth.  He's got it all covered, and it sure seems a whole lot easier in the scheme of things.


Anonymous said...

That was beautiful. My mother in law is slowing slipping away with dementia also. I am going to print this, if you don't mind, and show it to my husband and his brothers. I think this will help them a little.


Braelyn said...

I agree, and it makes me sad to hear about and see those people. But, God has them that way for a reason. It always makes them happy to see people who care, even though they may only remember it for a short time. But in that short time, it means a lot.

Julie said...

Sandy - If the post is of encouragement to even one, then another grace can be added to the list.

Braelyn - I appreciate your comments - thank you for sharing!