I have been creating and leading devotionals at a nursing home for about a year and a half. This is a rich experience in every way. Speaking to a group of people, most of whom are comatose or deaf, is humbling to say the least. And spending time with a dear friend there, who is losing it mentally, triggers memories of my mother’s journey into the darkness of Alzheimer’s.
Sometimes the caregivers and I share a moment of gentle humor, that brings a tiny sunbeam into the darkness of the situation. It’s really the only way you can persevere in this kind of situation.
Interestingly enough, with my mom, flashes of her own humor would surface unexpectedly. When she was still living with us, she would want to help me, though she was no longer really competent. One day I was working at home at the counter in the kitchen. She kept offering to start dinner for me, so I finally, to just get some time to focus on finishing my work, put a large pot of water on to boil for six ears of corn and a small pot of water on for a pack of frozen broccoli. I told her to put them in when the water came to a boil. A while later, she said, “Eileen, something doesn’t look right.” So, I stopped reluctantly to check it out. She had put the small amount of broccoli in the huge pot of water and all the ears of corn in the small pot of water, which had all boiled away.
I said irritably, “Oh, my God!”
Without a blink’s hesitation she replied, “Call on somebody you know!”