If you see one go by

Sarah walked in to my office and stood directly in front of my desk. With all the energy her 86 year old, 4’10’ frame could muster, she firmly said, “I have been looking everywhere for you because I had something to tell you and now I can’t remember what it was!” As the Director in a Memory Care community, I was accustomed to residents walking in to my office and sometimes demanding my attention.  I invited her to sit down and chat with me and maybe she would remember what she wanted to say to me.
She sat down and wiggled to the back of the chair, her feet just above the floor. I walked around my desk to sit in the chair beside her. As I gave her a hand massage we chatted for a few minutes with the topics changing every other sentence as her thoughts quickly pulled us in different directions. After about ten minutes I stood and said, “Sarah, I have some work to do, but you are welcome to stay here with me as long as you like.” I returned to my desk and began to work at my computer.
Sarah sat quietly for a moment or two and then I heard movement in the chair. I turned to see her wiggling her way forward to put her feet on the floor. She waved a hand dismissively toward me and my computer and said, “You’re busy with that . . . that . . . thing so I am going to go.” She stood up and looked at me quizzically; the look one gets when you are trying to remember something that felt important in the moment.
As I stood and walked around my desk to give her a hug I said, “Sarah, sometimes that happens to me too. Things just fly right out of head.” She peered up at me through her coke bottle glasses and seriously said, “Well,” she paused, “if you see one go by” she paused again, and then said “that was mine, that is what I wanted to tell you.”
A vision of forgotten thoughts and sentences flying around the room came to my mind’s eye and I could not stop the laughter that bubbled up. Sarah looked at me, smiled and then began to laugh too. We hugged and she went on her way.
There are those moments when something sounds silly and we may want to try to make sense of it or explain that what she said is funny or that it is ridiculous. And the most important thing to do is to go with the moment and respond with your heart.
Not your head – that is not where the fine points come from. The knowledge and information is there in your head but a reality of your relationship right now, at this moment, is in your heart.

Dementia Remembers
PO Box... HoustonTx77219 USA 
 • 713-907-8957
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