Looking back

Out and about, People / Friday, May 9th, 2014


it is better

not to.


I love this picture. It was taken in joy, riding a kiddie train with my son and the other first graders, but it belongs with the dark feelings of yesterday, when I visited a nursing home with a few ladies from church. Although I am trying to be as nondramatic as possible right now, there are days when I can’t help myself.


May you never grow old.

May you never face
the long, slow loss of your humanity
the undeveloping of body and mind.

May you never face a ceiling
for days and nights on end
trapped in a place that is not home
trapped in a body that played you false.


Their souls look out through their eyes.

They are malnourished
their hearts grown scrawny and potbellied
in a desperate need for human connection.

Do I matter?

Do you see me?

Do you know?


I looked in through a surreal window,
a soul connection I did not believe possible
and almost I could not tear myself away.

I looked in
and their eyes locked on mine
the confusion the tears and the silence swam between us.

I am a very small girl
but I promise you Jesus

I will do what I can.

9 Replies to “Looking back”

  1. Your words brought to my mind the face of one of my favorite patients at Hillcrest, a woman who was too young to be in a nursing home, a mother abandoned by her family. She couldn’t speak, but her eyes—OH! her eyes!—spoke volumes to those who took time to look into them. I will never forget the day that Titus, my new boyfriend at the time, picked two roses from a bush in the courtyard, delivering one to me and one to Melba. She cried, but her smile lit the room, and all day her eyes sparkled.

  2. Shari- As a nurse, geriatrics was my favorite place to work. And I never doubt the value of spending time with the elderly. Very well written!
    Have you read “Knocking on Heaven’s Door- the path to a better way of death”? (No, it certainly isn’t euthanasia!)

  3. Very well put!
    i took care of my mother for two years while she slowly died of dementia. The last 6 months of her life were spent in a nursing home and part of me died when i kissed her good by the night she met Jesus face to face. She battled it for at least 9 years and was only 62 when she died. Taking care of her was one of the greatest honors of my life and without a doubt dementia is a disease from the pit of darkness but the light and love of Jesus shines even there.

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