A Surprising Word of Grace

I entered Linda’s room shortly after she had been bathed. She was wide awake! When our eyes met, a faint smile appeared. I leaned over and kissed her on the forehead. I remarked as I combed her hair, “You look pretty in that pink gown!”

Then, I spoke the words I say several times every day: “I love you!” Seldom does she respond, or seem to know what I’m saying, or even who I am. But not this time!

She looked intently into my eyes. A broad smile appeared. Then she clearly spoke these simple, surprising words: “You’re wonderful!”

Such poignant moments of connection are inexplicable and rare for someone in the advanced stage of dementia.

The question often haunts me: Does she know that she is loved, that I  love her? So seldom does my presence make an observable difference.

Feelings of powerlessness in the face of her restlessness and agitation are the norm. Sadness and grief are always lurk in the shadows.

But unexpectedly, inexplicably comes a moment of connection, an assurance that love endures, that persistent expressions of devotion matter.

I don’t know what neuroscientists would call it. I call it GRACE!

14 thoughts on “A Surprising Word of Grace

  1. When you talk about caring for your wife, it makes me think of my dad. Mother had a particularly aggressive form of MS and Dad was advised to put her in a nursing home, but he refused. He cared for her at home until her death – two weeks before their 25th Anniversary. Like your wife, there were lapses in her memory, but when she was ‘there’ she lit up his whole world. You continue to be in my prayers and I want to thank you for this blog. I always find something important in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It IS Grace. Like the Grace I finally knew after a long time of running and hiding from God: it was always there, I just couldn’t see it, couldn’t accept it. Thank God!! One day I opened my eyes and God was there, full of Love!
    Be that for her: keep telling her you love her, know that she needs you, even if the lines of communication are shut down…
    and let God be that for both of you.
    Thank you for telling us about your life with Linda, and for speaking our hearts, too…

    Like

  3. Hey Ken, I look forward to reading every one of your “Shifting Margins” posts. Linda is so very blessed to have you as her husband. No doubt, she is bathed in love and knows it in that place of knowing that’s too deep for words. I love you, my brother.

    Liked by 1 person

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