I wheeled her into her room which was decorated with photos of family and friends sharing a life well lived. The smell of alcohol and sickness permeated the space. I stared at the black and white collage dancing on the wall. I looked back at her. She was watching and wondering. I asked her if I could look at the pictures. The widening of her baby blues was her only response.
And there it was...a wedding photo of her in a striking long white dress made of lace with short cap sleeves and a cathedral length veil adorned with mini white flowers. Her hair was long and dark brown with cascading curls falling upon her shoulders. A dark shade of lipstick outlined her smile. A large bouquet of pale colored roses she held in her hand. I asked her if that was her and she faintly nodded her head. I told her it was beautiful. Then I saw a tear starting to escape from the corner of her eye.
I couldn't help but wonder what was going through her mind at that moment. I wondered if she felt trapped in that body. I wondered if she always felt sad. As I looked at her trying to console her I thought about how each of us is headed to a similar fate. We will all get older and with any luck be around when we are old and gray. It reminded me of how much I need to enjoy the moments I have now when my mind and body are well. I hated telling her I had to go. And when I stepped out the door of her room and looked back at her I was the one wiping away a tear...
Do you ever ponder the future or live in the moment? Have you ever had a similar experience where an elder has taught you something in a brief moment of interaction?