The gift of being older…

Daddy awoke with a smile as I presented him the steaming cup of coffee.  He told a joke, chuckling out loud cracking himself up, and all before getting out of bed this morning!  Who is this person and what did he do with my father?  Such is Alzheimer’s, but I’ll gratefully take this comical start anytime.  You see, daddy blissfully lives in “his present,” almost literally moment-to-moment.  He has no worries because he can’t remember what to worry about…and he’ll tell you it’s my job now.  🙂  Money, bills, Medicare choices, appointments, correspondence…none are his concern.  He gratefully savors simple pleasures with quiet JOY.  Period.

Momma always told me, “Rich experience and understanding can only come with age, and Bethy, you’re not there yet…”  🙂  Daddy is still teaching me though how to calmly appreciate daily activities for the rich experiences they are.  He’s showing me through his daily ALZ struggle how to gracefully take each situation for what it is, even when we don’t fully understand the situation.  His age and his illness make little difference in the way he chooses to live; he’s simply allowing the gift of being older to speak for him.  Later in life and under completely bizarre circumstances, daddy simply demonstrates, “There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet JOY.”   ~Ralph Blum ~

Please take a moment to ponder:  When you hear the word “elderly,” what comes to mind?  What have you gratefully learned from an elderly person in your life recently? 

Here’s hoping we all seek and find gratefulness in the calm and quiet JOY of daily living, my friends!

4 responses to “The gift of being older…

  1. Having a friend and a brother in law with this disease is an eye opener!! You have to find the humor in their thought process! AND the joy! Perfectly worded!

    • Hey Linda! It’s GREAT to hear from you, lady! Thanks for sharing your connection with me and for the compliment. Writing helps me unpack and process all that occurs in our daily lives. Sending so many hugs and love to you and your extraordinary family. b

  2. When I hear the word elderly, I think of my parents who lived to be 95 years old. My dad passed away in 2016 and my mother the following year. They were together for over 66 years, Only apart at the beginning of their marriage and at the end of their marriage. My dad was deployed overseas during World War II. They were apart for the last five years of their marriage when daddy live in a Memory Care facility. Like you, I had the responsibility of taking care of money, bills, appointments for them. It was so hard on my mother to live away from him but she needed someone to care for her. My daddy lived happily in the moment as your daddy does now. But when I took her to see him. His eyes would light up and her would just about hug her to pieces. They would sit in the dining room holding hands and giggling like teenagers just enjoying the moments they had together. I was so blessed to witness their devotional love and what marriage vows really mean between two people. They were in the moment with each other. It was a joy and privilege to witness. I miss them both every day.

    • What a gift and legacy your precious parents gave to you. Just like with mom, I’m already grieving in small doses the loss of dad, knowing I’ll grieve all over again once his physical self is no longer with us. It’s these little daily situations I treasure and ponder the most…they keep us both moving forward. Sending so much love to you and your beautiful family. Miss you. b

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