I used to volunteer with my son in the dementia unit of a local nursing home.  When my son was a toddler, I wanted  to do something more for someone else in my extra time.  I signed up on to maybe water plants a few times a week at the home.  I thought it was something I could do with my child along.  I did the required paperwork and TB test and the volunteer director told me she was thinking of making a small playgroup of kids for in the dementia unit.  So once  a week my son and I would meet up with 2 other moms and 4 other little ones to sit and play with toys and balloons in the middle of the dementia unit.  We would play music and the kids would dance, the kids would walk around and give high fives or just hugs and the residents loved it.  It was amazing.  You could see the happiness on their faces when they watched the little ones playing.

One day I was walking my son around to say hi to everyone and there was a lady.  She looked like she may have been in her late 80’s/early 90’s.  She would shake, alot.  Her hands just shook and shook and so did her head.  I watched her each week.  I felt sad for her.  I wondered if she got irratated because she couldn’t stop. On this particular day, she was saying something but I couldn’t understand her.  But I stopped.  I sat next to her.  She reached for my hand with her shaky hand.  And I just sat there, for quite sometime holding her hand.  She seems to settle a bit.  I think she might have been praying when she was repeating words, maybe a prayer she memorized years before.  It was like time just kind of stood still.  Life halted, I was relaxed, I was so happy.  I felt like if there was nothing else in life that would ever happen, this was worth it. Here I was offering this other person, what she needed, and all she needed was a hand to hold.  It was amazing.  I was moved. 

I never saw that lady again.  When we went back after I never saw her.  I saw people who seemed to be frozen in a happier time, holding dolls, maybe remembering being younger, talking about their parents, who were no longer here, some people just sat there and didn’t say anything.  I always wonder how your mind gets stuck in a certain time.  I also noticed they loved music, music seemed to really make them relax. 

I will always be thankful for those mornings.  I will always count being with the woman whose hand I held as one of my greatest memories ever.  That’s how life is, there was a simple act, that has touched me to the core.


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