Truly Powerful People (453)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

I never knew Margaret before Alzheimer’s. She was well into the disease the first time I met her. Even then she had more life, more piss and vinegar (as my grandmother used to say) than almost anyone I knew. She was an outrageous flirt and we made eyes at each other from across the room. And then she’d laugh and put her fingers to her mouth and say, “Oh, my.”

Margaret was filled with fun. Play was the core of her apple, the seed of her being. One night we took her to dinner to tell her that we had to move her into an adult care foster home; she’d nearly burned the house down a few too many times and was no longer safe even with the live-in caregivers. Lora cried when she told Margaret we were going to move her from her home – and through the ravages of the disease I saw the power of a mother reach through Margaret as clarity came into her eyes and she took Lora’s hand and said, “Honey, I know you are doing what you think is best for me.” And then she disappeared again, back beneath the waters of confusion.

It seems to me that each year the disease eats a layer of her being, slowly stripping away her personality and 14 years into the disease, long after she no longer knows who we are or who she is, her core of playfulness remains. And, not surprising, the core is really a membrane of play wrapped around a heart of gratitude. She is a fragile little bird in body and a giant of gratitude in spirit. I love to visit her. I love to sit with her. She rarely responds to us but when she does, her face lights up, her blue eyes shine, her smile grows and she says, “Thank you,” and then she drifts away. I find myself so honored, so moved to know such pure gratitude that I touch my fingers to my lips and respond, “Oh, my.”

6 Responses

  1. you writing warms my heart, thank you.

  2. David. This is beautiful. Imagine if everyone read this today -, how safe the world would feel. Oh my.

  3. This story evoked tears from me, David. THANK YOU.

  4. Thank you, honey. I am so grateful for having you to share this journey with me and mom. I love you.

  5. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

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