A Real Lesson in being Thankful
Yesterday I went to visit my mum. I was feeling terribly guilty that I hadn’t seen her in two weeks. I had not been well and was being kept busy by the usual things.
Mum’s face lit up when she saw me, and her eyes twinkled with a look of love.
I tried to make out what she was saying but it was just a big mumble. Tears filled the back of my eyes and I agreed with her in the same way that I always do – finding one word that I could understand and repeat it a few times, so she feels acknowledged.
I told mum that I was going to take her out for an hour or so. She continually said oh thank you and smiled that endearing smile I have known for all my years.
My dear mother has Dimentia and has been in a nursing home for almost three years. We have always had a loving relationship and I get all my best bits from her! I just adore my mother and always have.
This photo was taken about 25-30 years ago at her work place when my brother and I were in primary school and it is one of most cherished images of her.
As one of the careers took mum to the toilet, two other carers and I began to chat. They often say what a pleasure mum is but this time, their faces were beaming with care. They began to tell me stories from the past week.
The carers were telling me stories of how helpful she is, how considerate and kind her actions towards others are. One of the carers told me that whenever they tuck her in at night, she reaches up to hug her and say thank you.
Mum has always been like that. Her thoughtfulness would literally hit you like a nice warm wave. I cannot even describe how much she gave every time she saw you, and this went for everyone.
It really did hit me that despite the massive deterioration of mum’s brain, the essence of who she is, shines through strongly each day. She’s still in there!
I love this quote in regards to teaching but it is so true in life as well and one that always reminds me of my sweet mum. I will never forget that she has always made me feel loved and I hope now in her state she feels the same way.
People with Dementia live in the moment, which is a great thing. They don’t know what day it is, how old they are or what’s for dinner. Yes they lose so many other things but if you are to look at it in THE most positive light, they are blissfully unaware and present in every moment, just for that moment….
Mum had forgotten where I said we were going, in fact she doesn’t ask that any more because, she doesn’t form sentences properly. I know she is probably thinking it, so I comment, off to the beautician we go several times on our short car ride.
We walked out of the beautician after some facial waxing and mum was filled with joy and smiles, saying, thank you in her own way. I just know from the look on her face what she means.
Mum knows how to be thankful, she just is. I am so grateful that her personality still shines through – all the time. It is a gift to me and I am so lucky. Just seeing mum made me realize that she is like a dose of medicine for me, teaching me to live in the moment and just be me. Thanks for the being my inspiration mum!
Teaching our students to be thankful and grateful for what they have and who they have is so empowering.
Growing these memory pathways in young learners will hopefully strengthen their relationships in life, with themselves and others.
I am grateful for my body, my mind, my dear husband and family, the cool breeze, the food in my belly, my warm bed and for all the love I have around me.
What are you thankful for?
For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving, you might like this handwriting activity.
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