Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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!”

Advertisement

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 Recovery-Minded Church Available for Pre-Order—and a Peek at the Cover!
It's been too long! Vacation, a family lice infestation, sickness, and preparation for a home renovation—much of it occurring at the same time—fun, huh?—have kept me away from this intersection. But I couldn't not share my delight at the ...

posted 6:07:11pm Jul. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Poverty vs. Privilege
Lately, I've been learning about poverty ...

posted 8:02:30pm Jun. 10, 2015 | read full post »

David Brooks and "The Big Me"—A Critique
In the midst of preparing for this major house renovation, ...

posted 3:55:10pm Jun. 02, 2015 | read full post »

In the Clear: Meditations on Cleaning House
The last few weeks have comprised a massive de-cluttering initiative in preparation for a home renovation, as we clear out junk from our basement, attic and just about anywhere useless stuff has managed to accrue. What Do We Throw ...

posted 2:04:34pm May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

For All Restless Souls—The Love-Hate Memoir of One Churchgoing Gal
My review of Rachel ...

posted 12:13:35pm May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.