Recently someone told me that they stopped visiting their grandma in the nursing home because she doesn’t remember the visits anyway.
Perhaps she doesn’t. Maybe she can’t recall you were there five minutes after you left. There’s a chance she’s going to tell the staff at the nursing home that no one ever visits her–when she often has multiple visitors in one day. So…what’s the point? Why waste your time?
But let’s back up.
Did you have a first birthday party? I bet you did. Do you remember it? I’m guessing you don’t.
Your parents knew you wouldn’t remember it. Yet they still bothered to buy you gifts and a maybe a special little round cake that they allowed you to put your hands it. You probably made a mess and everyone laughed. I’m guessing you had fun.
But you don’t remember it?
I guess there was no point in that first birthday party, huh?
Is the only reason to do something to create a memory? Or is there value in the moment itself?
Sometimes I wonder if the universe put people living with dementia in my life to help me grow as a person.
You see, I’m not good at living in the moment.
The other day I was overanalyzing a social interaction that happened twenty years ago. Literally twenty years ago.
And today I was stressed out about where people are going to park at a conference I’m organizing….the conference is four months away.
I live in the past. I live in the future. I don’t spend enough time in the present.
I was recently visiting a nursing home to do a staff education when I struck up a conversation with a resident and her daughter.
I asked how their day was going. I appreciated how the daughter was comfortable in the silence of waiting her mother to respond rather than answering the question herself.
“Well, I’m not sure what we’ve been doing, but we’ve sure been having fun,” the older woman responded.
Her daughter smiled. She didn’t chime in with what they had been doing all day. It didn’t matter. They’d been having fun. There wasn’t a need for more details.
Every once in a while, my husband says I’m being an Eeyore. And he’s usually right. But I’m trying to be more of a Pooh.
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
Today might be Monday, but that’s okay.
It’s my favorite day–because it’s the only day I’ve got today.