PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Simplicity, Patience, Compassion

Enlightened Heart


A Poem by Lao-Tzu
571-??? B.C.

Edited by Stephen Mitchell  

A copy of this post-it has lived on the side of Gregory's nightstand for years. Every night before closing the lights he would read the three words aloud: SIMPLICITY, PATIENCE, COMPASSION.

To this day, with all the very difficult times and changes he has gone through since Christmas 2013, Gregory continues to strongly hold onto these tenets in his daily actions.

Currently he has embraced and is comfortable at the Lieberman Center where his life is now the embodiment of SIMPLICITY. Minimum activity but routinely so. Blue jeans and a nice shirt but no need to think about how you look. Nutritious meals but predictable, nothing fancy. Same activities at the same time on the same day. Not many choices to ponder.

PATIENCE certainly as the hours, no the minutes, no the seconds pass in a row without much disruption or variation. Sitting and waiting for what comes next without much thought about what it is that will come next. It just arrives. In your chair by 4:00, at your table, in the dining room in time for a 4:30 dinner which isn't always delivered to you until a while later. Lots of waiting for little (according to my eye) reward. But to Gregory's eye, just part of life and his ability to be patient.

As we walk around the four sections of his floor, we stop at each oversized photograph of something Chicago and discuss it. Lake Michigan. Lincoln Park, Museums. Etc. Every now and then we pass someone in the hall. Someone in a wheel chair, quiet, unable to do for themselves, mostly unable to communicate. Sometimes a hand is stretched out towards us. As we pass, each time someone calls out or reaches out, a holding of hands. Gregory will respond with a look of love, a gesture of caring, a smile. COMPASSION. Compassion personified!

Boy I love that man.

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