Simple Moments

Simple Moments

I read the obituary column. Some people may think this is odd. I found my name in there once. It was many years ago, and I was feeling quite well that day. I was shocked and surprised to see MY name listed. The only other thing listed there was the name of the memorial park where services were held.

I have been told I am a procrastinator. Well, I’ll think more about that later, but it was a while before I could follow up on my namesake who had passed. By the time I did get to the memorial park, I found that this other Elaine Martin had been cremated and her ashes scattered. That meant there was no stone or marker I could visit to find out more about who she was, how old, place in a family, anything.

I recently read the obituary for Lowell Steward, a decorated Tuskegee Airman. A few years ago, I was going on vacation with three friends. We were flying out of Los Angeles International Airport. We were waiting for the elevator to go up to the boarding area when a distinguished African-American man in a wheelchair, with his caregiver, approached the elevator. Being in a “We’re-going-on-vacation” jovial mood, we struck up a conversation with the two men. We learned the gentleman in the wheelchair was a Tuskegee Airman. They were traveling to a reunion ceremony.

The elevator ride wasn’t that long, but we had a nice chat. When we all got off the elevator, we thanked him for his service and wished them well. All four of us commented on how neat it had been to speak with a Tuskegee Airman. I had heard of them and all they went through, but to actually meet one, well, we were impressed.

There are so many things that pass through our lives. So many things that slip through our hands. Like, perhaps, our loved ones with Alzheimer’s. It is important to learn to be in the moment, to see what is in front of us now. No matter the time of year, people slipping away from us is always difficult. My mother passed just before Thanksgiving, and that holiday has been forever changed for me.

However, there is still joy to be found, and shared. We would bring gifts to my mother for Christmas, and watch her joy in opening them. The Assistance League in our area gives gifts to the residents in the facility where my mother was, so she had lots of presents to open. She didn’t remember who gave her what, but in that moment, for that moment, she was happy.

If you are a caregiver, take a deep breath and look for the joy in the moment. If you know of a caregiver, who may very well be a little stressed, offer some relief time if possible. There is joy in moments, and moments may be all we have. Hold on to that thought, at least for the moment.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *