A couple of days ago, I attended a conference covering the issue of grief. During his presentation, the speaker shared various memories of his mother and how she (and their relationships) was affected later in life by Alzheimer’s disease. Particularly, he commented on actions of hers that he did not like at that time, but he missed them today.
Suddenly, upon hearing his stories, tears arose to my eyes as I recalled different memories with my grandmother, Mimi, who also was diagnosed in her later years with dementia. One vivid memory I have is when Mimi would sit in her armchair with her head tilted back and her hands clasped together in a praying position. She then would sing the following verses loudly but off-key:
“We three kings of orient are
Oh, who traveled, oh, so far…”
Whether these lyrics were correct or not, I remember always thinking how badly her singing sounded and how much I would long for her to quit at any time. However, to this day—several years later, whenever I hear that song, I cannot help but to think of her and the wonderful impact she made upon my life.
When working with our patients and families, have you ever experienced encounters that “struck a chord” with your past? How do these memories still affect you to this day? May these moments be ones where you allow the Lord to comfort, carry, enrich, and bless you as you serve His children!