Looking back


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.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

Oh Shari. I couldn’t put into words, what it was like being with my mom at the nursing home those last months. But you just did.

9 years ago

Beautiful thoughts.

mom coblentz
9 years ago

Captured well… but it stirs up sorrow, as it should.

9 years ago

What a tear jerker!! 🙂

Joanna Yoder
9 years ago

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.

Wendy W.
9 years ago

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!)

9 years ago
Reply to  Wendy W.

I haven’t, but it looks fascinating! Move over, other books–this one’s climbing my must-read list. 🙂

9 years ago

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.

9 years ago

Thinking of my grandmother…and her last years slowly dying with dementia. You put it into words well.

Join the conversation to share your comments.x
Scroll to Top