Ok, I guess it's time to write again.
So often, this little thought creeps into my head, "why do I visit?"
Yesterday, when hanging with my best bud, "Jerry", I spent a lot of time people watching. A little group of children had come to sing Christmas carols and reenact the story of Christmas to the residents. I had arrived a few minutes late, which seems to be my mantra, so I stood in the back and watched. Jerry was a few rows in front of me and had his eyes closed. His eyes are closed most of the time when he is sitting.
When the carols began, however, his eyes opened. You see, you never know what's inside that seemingly "gone" brain. My son mentioned, a week or so ago, how the thread of the spirit runs deep. Even Alzheimer disease cannot take it away.
After the little program was over, the children began to pass out candy. When a little boy approached Jerry with a little piece of chocolate, Jerry did not respond. The boy shrugged his shoulders, turned and walked away. I could see my friend, Robbie watching. Robbie is about 90 years young and keeps an eye on Jerry. She is as sharp as a tack. The boy offered her some candy and she said, "Go back over to Jerry and put your hand on his knee. When you do, show him the candy. Take his hand and place the candy in it." So the little boy did. He placed the candy in Jerry's hand and wrapped his fingers around it. Sniff! Jerry held it and eventually ate it.
When people began to leave, a staff member walked him over to me. He put his hands on my shoulders and peered deep into my eyes. He knew me. There was no mistaking it. His penetrating stare spoke...."I know you. Your mine."
Later on, I found Robbie and thanked her for keeping an eye on Jerry. She told me how much she loves him and that she's never seen a man who's countenance radiates such peace. Yet, she questioned, "he walks around with a look in his eyes, like he is looking for something."
I can only guess. But, I remember the night that Jerry was diagnosed 14 years ago. He asked, "How do you have a relationship with God when you've lost your mind?" There were many deep conversations between the two of us. He knew of God's faithfulness and wanted others to know it too. He went into this disease with such courage.
Perhaps, he's looking for that person to let them know. Perhaps he's questioning who's around the corner or where he's going or if someone is lost. It's that kind of look that he has. I don't know....it's puzzling. But, I DO KNOW THIS....God knows. God knows what is in the heart of every man. We only think we can hide from him. But, he knows. He places his gracious gift of love in our hand. It is up to us how we'll respond to it.
So, why do I visit? Perhaps it's to love and learn. To think. To do a little soul searching of my own. When we married 42 years ago, I thought I was in love. Looking back, I didn't even know what love was. I love Jerry more now, than I ever could have imagined. AND....interestingly enough, I have Alzheimer's Disease to thank for it.