A Difference in My Life - an Alzheimer Journey by Sue Scoggins

Today was an opportune day to visit with one of Jerry's staff.  

For those staffers who answer this call of service, I admire you.  It's such a thankless job and NOT a pretty job.  Many of you hold down two jobs and take care of your families...some are going to school.  I honestly don't know how you do it.    It is the utmost of compassion and service.  

I was at the end of a sweet time with Jerry, walking arm in arm and hugging.  He seemed happy.  As we walked, I noticed one of the staff setting the tables up in the dining room.  I love chatting with those beautiful people.  She greeted us with a warm smile as we entered the room.  I commented about Jerry's new haircut and how he was always such a heart throb and how I always had to keep him under guard.  I could tell he heard me because he smiled when I mentioned his "bedroom" eyes.  That, although he was a wild man in his youth, he always knew his limits because of his foundation in God.  He had a great respect for the elderly and such compassionate for the down trodden.....  a real softie. ..and when it came to protecting his family or protecting justice.... he was a roaring lion not to be crossed.   

I commented on how Jerry's skin was like a smooth baby's bottom today.  He does not have ONE wrinkle.  Not one!  Not even those little crows feet.  SO NOT FAIR!  Anyway, one comment led to another while we were talking about caring for Jerry's skin.  She mentioned how at the nursing home (her second job) she encourages people to moisturize and apply lotion to the skin of her patients.  She said, "Think about it, Miss Sue, we all put lotion on after we bathe.  Dry skin hurts."  For Jerry, applying Vasoline after he is shaved seems to help.

As she now began to sweep the floor, her eyes began to tear up as we continued to talk.  She mentioned one of her patients who passed away last week.  Against her better judgement, she had become so attached.  "Miss Sue.  So many family members do not come see their loved ones.  WE become their family."  She hears comments like, "Well, she doesn't even know me.  Why should I come?"  or "She never says anything.  I don't know what to say."  So the family members just quit coming.  She said, "I would just put lotion on her feet and legs and talk to her.  I was all she knew. I told her if she didn't want to get up and eat...it was ok.  She could just rest."  "Miss Sue, it just hurt so bad. I don't necessarily make a difference in their lives but....caring for these people....it just makes such a difference in my life."

Oh.  If we could all learn from this!  What a better world this would be.  For this staffer and many others, who's lives are impacted so deeply.  I thank you.  I thank you, from the bottom of my heart,  for how you care for Jerry.  I thank you for how you care for those who are alone.

Matthew 25:31-46

English Standard Version (ESV)

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Thenthe King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me,I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’