Yesterday my daughter, Amanda, and I drove down to see Jerry. We never know what to expect. As soon as we walked in the unit we could see Jerry walking into the back room. We waited by the nurses station to see his reaction when he walked out. Amanda stood to the side and said, "Hi, dad." HIs eyes looked at her with a puzzled look. Then he saw me. He headed straight past her as his eyes locked with mine. We did our hugs, then I showed him Amanda. "Look! Here's Amanda." "Hi, dad." she said again. It took a while, but it looked like the brain was flickering a bit. It began to come....that look of...do I know you? I think I might know you.
I often am asked, "What do I do?" "What do I say?" "How can I communicate when he/she doesn't respond?" I usually say just "BE." In this hurried world we think it's so important to talk, do an activity, be out and about. Busy. Busy. We forget what's it's like to just be still.
It was a rainy day outside and the weather was in the 60's. So we slowly walked down the hall to Jerry's room. For some reason, I hardly ever go to his room. It was warm and cozy and quiet. We helped Jerry into his lazy boy and tucked him in with a warm flannel blanket. Amanda sat on the arm of the chair for a while with her arm around him. She gently stroked his arms and tried to warm his hands. Touching. Hugging. There are no words to describe how important these things are. We sat in the quiet room cuddled. When words don't come....just "be".
Be together. Be next to each other. Be warm. Be connected in a spiritual way and let the quietness speak.
After a few minutes, Amanda moved over to the bed and we turned on I LOVE LUCY. LUCY is timeless. While Jerry did not connect with the show, Lucy's comical antics lightened our countenance and brought energy into the room. Look at this picture! This is a picture of alert. His eyes actually looked over at the camera. His foot, ever so slightly, began to move when the music of the show came on during a commercial. We had our "alert" for the day and it was good.