time stands still

I can hardly believe it's been over a week since I posted. Time flies doesn't it, well actually for some - it -stands - still.

Over Easter I went back home to see my mom and my step dad. Some of you may remember that he's now in a nursing home and he has Alzheimer's. It's been awhile since he could leave because his condition is getting so much worse so quickly so I took my kids to see him. As I walked through the front door the smell of urine and 'despair' was just about enough to choke me. It amazed me how my 3 year old never turned up her nose, never noticed that something smelled awful, instead she just smiled and ran to Papa to give him a hug. She didn't seem to notice that Papa now lives somewhere else with other people or that he can't talk as much as he used to. He can hug her and that's about all that matters in her world. God what I wouldn't give to be able to make things so simple in my own life. So we're sitting there pretending that things are not as grim as they seem and I begin looking around at the other 'lost souls' who seemed frozen in time. Some have visitors, some don't. Some smile because that's all they remember how to do, some cry - because that's the only thing left they can do. Each and every one of those 'people' appear to be waiting for something. I hesitate to say it's death they wait for but if I'm honest, it is all that's left for most. My step father is only a shell of the man I used to know. Somewhere deep inside there are remnants of him, but as hard as I try I cannot see them anymore. My daughter sees them but I'm starting to believe it's almost like believing in Santa Claus, the older you get, the less real he becomes. I wonder if some day only the 'virgin eyes' of a child will be able to find me in the shell that becomes my home. I hope not.

Before we left I hugged my step dad as tight as I could hoping that somehow he'd feel my touch down to the parts that still remember how wonderful it feels to be loved. I think the saddest part this disease is knowing he will die without the memory of a life lived, a life loved, a life full of so much more than he has right now.

I keep picturing my sweet Alice kissing her papa's cheek just before we walked away and I'm praying that for him, time is frozen in that moment.


  1. kimmyk said...
    I use to take my kids to the nursing home when their grandma was alive-I always hated 'that' smell. I don't know if they remember it or not, but they never complained. All the residents would reach out for them..made me so sad.

    I'm sure your step dad was happy at that very moment...that's all you can ask for isn't it? Each and every moment is a happy one.
    Lori said...
    This is so heartbreaking. I'm so sorry about your stepdad. You do wonder what is going on in their minds and hearts when it seems like so much of them is gone.

    Collin Raye sings a song called, "On Angel's Wings." The chorus goes:

    "She's going to fly...when her work here is through. First she'll have to let go, of some things she once knew. For people and places, family and faces are just way too heavy it seems.... To carry on angel's wings."

    God bless you all, and thank Heaven for the innocence and unconditional love of a child.
    Mellissa said...
    You are a special, special woman. I love the depths of your emotion, and the thoughtful way you write.

    And for the record, his soul felt every bit of the love from your embrace.


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