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Capture the joyous moments
Monday, September 1, 2014
Recently I was witness to a joyous several moments. Sue's dad Bill is indeed failing in physical strength and cognitive abilities. She grieves this loss, but is always able to experience parts of Bill probably no one else discerns.
I was at the residence where Bill lives to be part of a care planning meeting. After it was over we went to the dining room, a large open sunny room, where a very good accordionist was playing many old songs; The Sidewalks of New York, Fiddler on the Roof etc.. Sue thought Bill would enjoy the music so she wheeled him down in his wheelchair. As we entered the room he kept insisting to get closer to the music and some people moved aside to let him do just that. As the music played, Bill tried to stand, wanting to dance with Sue. As I stood to one side of him and another family visitor held the wheelchair behind him to catch him if he fell, Sue accommodated. When the music stopped for a moment, he would sit down only to rise again with each new number. A polka was announced. Sue groaned, "Oh no!" knowing it would be fast and no doubt worried if he was strong enough to dance another. Bill stood and together they rocked in each other's arms. Bill loves music, and still plays a cool harmonica. I wish I could have captured on film the look of joy on each of their faces. A part of Bill Sue knows is still there was alive with enthusiasm and delight. Bill was rocking within a small 2 foot space and Sue was there to enjoy the moments with him. From what I observed of the other participants in the room, others enjoyed his enthusiasm as well. He was the only one dancing.
I've always said there is more left than there is gone; we just have to tap it. Bill was alive and well dancing with his daughter. And Sue was delighted to be there with him. As caregivers we need to savor these moments when they come; they double the joy and halve the sorrow.
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