I don’t know about you, but I often worry about what I might end up doing when I finally go senile and forget that people are watching me. Okay, maybe this is only a problem I have–but I spend so much of my time making sure that no-one sees the real me under my layers of hypocrisy that I fear that when all my defences are finally torn away by old age they will see my true self and know me for what I am.
All those fears aside, wouldn’t it be great if when we finally enter the realm of dementia, what emerges is the saint we have (by God’s grace) become in our lives through constant discipleship?
Here’s a story that warmed my heart. You will remember I mentioned just before I went to Turkey that my Grandmother passed away. She had been a nurse for much of her life and had nursed my own grandfather when he was suffering from alzheimers.
I was unable to attend her funeral due to my Turkey trip, so my mother sent me her obituary and the hymn sheet of her funeral (she had “And can it be”–I want that one for my funeral too!). The obituary had the following comment–something I didn’t know about her:
As Grandma cared for Grandpa her great strength of character shone through. Following his death she started to volunteer at The Vines nursing home. When it was her turn to receive care she did so graciously, always with gentle gratitude and always uncomplaining. Her inherent nurturing instincts continued to kick in and to the amazement and amusement of staff they’d often find her feeding other residents after she’d finished her own meal.
Ah, if only when everything is finally stripped away from me, they might find a saint half so worthy.