Simple enough. All I have is this 24 hour period staring me in the face. What to do with it? Well, for one thing I am about ready to go to my work. A few people are there waiting for me to help them with various activities. Each day is a little different. Each day I encounter various persons with various needs. All of my encounters starts with a greeting and a smile. You see, I spend most of my day interacting with persons who live in a nursing facility. I know most of them by name and so I spend a little bit of time sharing with them about the day ahead as well as how their day is going. Because of their own response to their dementia of one kind or another, and living in the moment, they assure me with their smile that they are doing OK.
The amazing characteristic of dementia is that you live in the moment. The present, as the word can denote, is truly a present from God. This is the only place I can live–in the now. Yesterday is really gone forever–can’t bring it back (only by memory as faulty as it may become) and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Obviously, the only place to live is here, now, today, these next 24 hours.
Am I living in the present or is my mind onto to something I have to do tonight? Or after lunch? I think you get the message. My thought is that when I meet a friend (resident) in the nursing home I am going to be really present to them and have all my attention focused on the person. It is going to be an I-Thou relationship. It is as only the person that I encounter is the only person with whom my entire attention is given. And at that moment something special takes place–two people become as one–joined together in the communicating of a true and present relationship. Both of us are now in each others presence — in the now –fully being the loving person that God desires all creation to be —aware that we are all together in this. Today is all I have to make this relationship grow, in this manner, in this time, with this person.