May 2, 2017
When my mother’s sister died earlier this year at the age of ninety-four, I became steward of a number of boxes of old family photos and memorabilia. Among them was my maternal grandmother’s velvet-covered, pink satin-lined letter-writing box. In that beautiful box I found, among other treasures, this newspaper clipping of the poem below.
I suppose it came at the right time. I have been trying to find a way to work through the ups and downs of my own experience as a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. In that moment, as I sat at my desk reading this poem through my falling tears, I knew I needed to start this blog to chronicle our journey – for my children, and their children. And myself.
BEATITUDES FOR FRIENDS OF THE AGED
Blessed are they who understand
My faltering step and palsied hand.
Blessed are they who know that my ears today
Must strain to catch the things they say.
Blessed are they who seem to know
That my eyes are dim and my wits are slow.
Blessed are they who looked away
When coffee spilled at the table today.
Blessed are they with a cheery smile
Who stop to chat for a little while.
Blessed are they who never say,
“You’ve told that story twice today.”
Blessed are they who know the ways
To bring back memories of yesterdays.
Blessed are they who make it known
That I’m loved, respected, and not alone.
Blessed are they who know I’m at a loss
To find the strength to carry the Cross.
Blessed are they who ease the days
On my journey Home in loving ways.
by Esther Mary Walker