When Life Loops Back Around

The most profound lessons are learned when life’s ups and downs are embraced as one seamless loop. It’s not a matter of “if” we’ll experience bad stuff, it’s “when.” That’s life — the ultimate teacher. I’ve witnessed friends and family members who fight against every down-turn, and frankly, they can be quite miserable. While no one enjoys hard times, experiencing joy despite hard times is always possible.

A simple task like bathing can provide a window into powerful life lessons. Read through the mother-daughter conversation below, twice. You might be surprised.

~ “It’s time for a bath.”
~ “I just had a bath.”
~ “That was two days ago. So it’s time for another.”
~ “Okay.”
~ “Are you excited about going to see the girls today? I’m sure you’ll do fun stuff.”
~ “Yes! I love going there!”
~ “Now, take the wash cloth and scrub your legs while I do your back.”
~ “That great, now scrub your arms while I wash your hair.”
~ “Oh, I don’t like getting my head wet.”
~ “I know but we have to do that so your hair will smell good too.”
~ “Okay. I’m ready.”
~ “Now that you’re all clean, let’s get you out of the tub. First, we’ll dry your feet so you won’t slip.”
~ “Good job! Here’s a warm towel for the rest of your body. After you’re all dry, we can sprinkle your body with your favorite powder.”
~ “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
~ “Isn’t it great that God gives us lots of helpers? Everyone can do something. I’m glad I can do something to help you.”

Now, read back through the conversation when mother-daughter roles are identified:
DAUGHTER: ~ “It’s time for a bath.”
MOM: ~ “I just had a bath.”
DAUGHTER: ~ “That was two days ago. So it’s time for another.”
MOM: ~ “Okay.”
DAUGHTER: ~ “Are you excited about going to see the girls today? I’m sure you’ll do fun stuff.”
MOM: ~ “Yes! I love going there!”
DAUGHTER: ~ “Now, take the wash cloth and scrub your legs while I do your back.”
DAUGHTER: ~ “That great, now scrub your arms while I wash your hair.”
MOM: ~ “Oh, I don’t like getting my head wet.”
DAUGHTER: ~ “I know but we have to do that so your hair will smell good too.”
MOM: ~ “Okay. I’m ready.”
DAUGHTER: ~ “Now that you’re all clean, let’s get you out of the tub. First, we’ll dry your feet so you won’t slip.”
DAUGHTER: ~ “Good job! Here’s a warm towel for the rest of your body. After you’re all dry, we can sprinkle your body with your favorite powder.”
MOM: ~ “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
DAUGHTER: ~ “Isn’t it great that God gives us lots of helpers? Everyone can do something. I’m glad I can do something to help you.”

The first time you read this conversation, you probably envisioned a mother helping a child. Powerful lessons can be learned in caring for a Mom with Alzheimer’s. Compassion affords us the opportunity to embrace life’s ups and downs as a seamless blend of circumstance. Isn’t it interesting when life loops back around ?

I will have this conversation over and over again. It’s as much a part of loving Mom through Alzheimer’s disease as any other part. I celebrate single moments rather than contest times of inability. I choose to be joyful rather than dwell in hard times. I choose to be candid, in hopes of inspiring change. Profound lessons create opportunities to teach. Compassion fills the heart, when and if one is willing to learn about loving someone through Alzheimer’s. It’s simply the only way to erase the stigma and advocate for a cure.

Birdfeeder
Celebrate Precious Moments of Living!

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