Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners


Grace in a Dementia Unit

I spend part of Friday morning in the dementia unit at a local assisted living center.

(Some mornings getting the kids off to school—barely— I wonder if I belong there.)

This past Friday Tom was there as usual, motionless and catatonic, staring somewhere into space. It is rare that he responds to questions now. If he does, the response comes back from that far away place in some unidentifiable babble.

This past Friday I was there when Tom’s girlfriend of thirteen years dropped by. Tom would be in for a treat, I was told.

So would I.

She swept into the room with a breezy smile that lit up that space, with one quick motion slipping a CD into the boombox on the table next to me, then with focus, moving over to Tom.

His face lit up with joyful recognition.

“I’ve been practicing, Tom!,” she enunciated loudly for him, her focus on him tuning out everyone else in the room. This was their moment, even if it would be shared with the rest of the staff.

The music began, the voice of Luciano Pavarotti singing a love song.

It was “La Boheme,” I was told.

Her gaze still focused entirely on Tom, Mary now began to dance. A mixture of ballroom and ballet. And then she was encouraging Tom to sing.

And instantly, Tom was belting out the words of the song, his arms raised towards Mary as if ready to embrace her, all the while his eyes falling mesmerized on this woman. When every so often he began to drift back to that distant shore, she would clap her hands and say his name, calling him back from his reverie: “Tom!”

He would return again to dance from his chair—arms raised as if in praise, face transfixed—with the woman who calls him out of himself. When the song ended, she was in his lap holding him.

Every so often I’ll be leaving a “grace sighting” by way of gearing up for the release of my book “Grace Sticks” (Cascade, Winter 2014). Please feel free to send on your grace sightings to kristinarobbdover@gmail.com or leave them below.

Here are Pavarotti and Fiamma Izzo d’ Amicon in “La Boheme”:

YouTube Preview Image

 

 

 



  • http://www.arightplace4seniors.com/ homecare

    Depression is common among patients with dementia and holidays can increase their feeling of sadness. They may feel a sense of loss during these times. It would be better to consult a doctor before holidays come if your loved ones are going through depression.

Previous Posts

The Lie of Invulnerability
This last week has been insane. Family sickness, repairs, car issues, multiple calls from school nurses, including one in which the nurse expressed concern my 7-year-old son had been bitten by a brown recluse spider...and just when I thought it couldn't get worse...viral pinkeye. Two puffy, leaky, r

posted 11:00:49am Sep. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Humor Relief for Religious Extremism
Once again, humor and satire are coming to my aid this morning, this time in response to the twisted and evil extensions of religion that seeks to coerce and control with violence and worldly forms of power (best embodied these days in the form of ISIS and its affiliates). The Palestinian televis

posted 10:36:57am Sep. 03, 2014 | read full post »

"AA" Recovery Groups—Spirituality for the Non-Religious, Hope for the Church?
[caption id="attachment_5326" align="alignleft" width="271"] Bill Wilson co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous with Dr. Bob Smith in 1935. Their affectionately called "Big Book" is one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold more than 30 million copies since its publication. (Photo credit: Haze

posted 11:27:26am Sep. 02, 2014 | read full post »

Thoughtful Christians—They're Around, Via Fare Forward
The cover story from the latest (July/August) issue of Christianity Today offers a refreshing antidote to all the gloom and doom that often accom

posted 2:39:15am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

New Job, New Book
You may have noticed that I've not shown up at this intersection during the last week or so.  A new job, and, with the new job, the promise of a new book projec

posted 2:49:05am Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.