Grandma Sandra told me the sweetest story the other day. About four years ago, Grandma was assigned to work with a woman in a nursing home who had Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a very sad disease that affects the brain. It starts with moments of memory loss and progressively gets worse. It’s quite traumatic as memories and skills fade away.
This woman that Grandma was working with suffered from deep depression within her disease. Everyday, this elderly woman would sit quietly in the corner with her head drooped, as if she had given up. For 4 months, Grandma tried to engage her, but nothing seemed to work. Often, the nursing home played music because it cheered up the patients. One day, Grandma noticed that her client was tapping her foot to the beat of the music while the rest of her body drooped in the chair. Grandma had an idea. She walked over, took the hands of this woman, lifted her up, and began to dance with her. The woman lit up like a spring morning and did the fox trot with Grandma. All the workers of the nursing home came to see the life that had birthed out of the darkness of depression, and they were amazed.
I loved hearing this story for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a reminder to me that no matter what condition someone is in, they still need human contact and compassion. Sometimes God places us in the lives of others so that we can help them dance. There are people all around us with brokenness who need someone to come along and lift them up. They need a compassionate person who will smile and listen or a person who won’t give up on them. Look around your school and see the kids who are by themselves, those that look sad, or the kid that gets bullied. I hope and pray you are compassionate and kind. Maybe you are the person that is supposed to sit with them on the bus, or invite them to your table at lunch time. You girls can have such an impact on the lives of others if you just notice those that are around you.
Second, I like this story because I want you all to dance with me if I get Alzheimer’s. That would make me very happy.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
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