The following is a piece I wrote back in 2015 about applying the practice of giving thanks to the experience of loving someone with Alzheimer’s disease. November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and National Family Caregivers’ Month, so I thought it fitting to share this again. It was inspired by two dear women in my life impacted by dementia, one who celebrates her 102nd birthday this week, and the other who has gone on to her heavenly home.
I Will Choose to Be Thankful
When you ask the same question again and again,
I will choose to be thankful for all my questions
you have patiently answered over the years without complaint.
When you fight for your independence,
I will choose to be thankful for your strength
that has carried the burdens of a family, neighbors in need, and a world at war.
When you struggle to make conversation,
I will choose to be thankful for your ever-present desire to connect with those around you.
When you ask me who the little girl by my side is,
I will choose to be thankful that you lived to meet my daughter.
When you forget my name,
I will choose to be thankful for your repeated delight in the discovery
that it is the same as yours, for I am your namesake.
When you forget our relationship,
I will choose to be thankful that it is a relationship beautiful enough
for there to be grief over its loss.
When you forget the stories you have written about your own life,
I will choose to be thankful for your joy in hearing them as if for the very first time,
and share your exuberant praise of the writer.
When you seem to slip away inside yourself,
I will choose to be thankful that what is truly you is a soul that will last forever,
even if it seems hidden for a season.
And on the day your eyes are closed for the very last time,
I will choose to be thankful that as C.S. Lewis so beautifully described it,
this life is but the cover and the title page, and you have begun
“Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read:
which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Wilmington, NC, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (910) 363-2866