Tuesday, April 14, 2009



I bought my first home in Appleton in 1996. It was a peculiar transaction from the standpoint that I not only purchased the dwelling, I bought the contents as well. The circumstances of the sale were precipitated by the death of the owner, a local dentist who had been the sole caregiver of his dear wife, who was stricken with Alzheimer’s. He had been able to manage her care for 5 years of this devastating illness, but when his beloved wife got out of the house on several occasions and began wandering the neighborhood, he knew he could no longer care for her at home. It was a difficult and heart-rending decision, I’m sure, fraught with anguish and personal disappointment, but he finally realized he was just not able. It eventually took its toll on the dear man, and two weeks following her admission to a nursing facility, he keeled over and died. I tell this story because, unfortunately, stories like this happen every day, some similar, some different, but always a sad commentary on the ravages of aging.

Amongst the contents belonging to the dentist and his wife was a large collection of books. One day, while perusing through some of them, I stumbled on the piece below, clipped out of some newspaper. Safely tucked away between the pages of one of the volumes, were these poignant words. I share them here as I feel they need sharing. A wise man once said, "To live life we must always be present in that life." I take that to mean that life needs to be savored, every minute, every hour, every day. Who knows how many days will get. How important it is to make the most of each one. At no time is it more important than at the point at which our elderly family member or friend needs us to be present, even when it may be difficult. . . for it will be OUR turn only too soon.

By Del Reynolds

With His hands and feet nailed to the cross, blood streaming down His face, with needle-like thorns piercing His head, and with thoughts of His trusted followers and disciples betraying Him, He raised His head and eyes to heaven and said---
I wonder how many elderly people in Nursing Homes can truthfully say: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do ---
As they sit quietly and wait patiently, day after day, for the faces of children they love, children they sacrificed for, perhaps for twenty years or more---children they loved
ABOVE ALL ELSE. . . and now they wait for them as they waited during the wee hours of the night when they were teenagers . . . just to be SURE that they were SAFE AND HAPPY.
Forgive them for they know not what they do? Can this really be said? My insincere friends, let me warn you---
You DO KNOW what you are doing to your Father or Mother or loved one as they sit there waiting, longing to see your face, if even for five minutes.
Yes, even five minutes if that’s all you have to give would be something towards the years they spent for YOUR safety and well being. If you go to see them even for a short time, even once a month. . . they’ll remember they are valued, loved, AND. . . God Himself will reward you. . . seven times seventy!!

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