Tuesday, June 21, 2016


We don't often get to church and I so miss our wonderful congregation at the Bay Area Unitarian/Universalist in Clear Lake but I'm finding there are many other opportunities to practice our faith.  One has come up recently with my neighbor.  I will call her Beverly, at least 10 years younger than me and declining rapidly with dementia.  Her sister, Alice, is here for the second time in the last 9 months to look after her. Beverly has been very reclusive since we met her two years ago, seldom eating with others in the dining room and never attending any activities.   The few times I have seen her she wore a "deer-in-the headlights" look.  Alice lives in North Carolina, a retired nurse with an adult son who is autistic.  She has been here now for several weeks getting her sister through a gauntlet of tests.  Alice wants to move Beverly to NC and has located a pleasant assisted living facility not far from Alice's home but Beverly is resistant, of course.  At this point Alice is pulling her hair out trying to deal with it all and has been shut in her sister's apartment helping her dress, etc.
     I ran into Alice taking a walk for a break and invited her to call or come over when she needed a glass of wine or a hug.  And she called!  I had just made a batch of brownies and invited them both over for wine and brownies.  Beverly doesn't drink alcohol any more which is a good thing but was happy with a cold Fresca.  And Alice talked and talked and He-Who so enjoyed the visit.  I did what I could to support Alice and the move going through all the reasons why we are moving to San Antonio.  Beverly sat listening but said little.  Alice calls her by the nickname of "Bev" and when I hugged her goodby, I asked if I, too, could call her Bev.  She smiled and said, "Of course, you are family now."  Mission accomplished!!!
      On reflection I thought we had just had communion shared with love and compassion.  And this is what it is all about.  And it was so good for He-Who to feel that he was helping and contributing.  And he showed them the new book with the dedication to him.
     Later I ran into Alice again and she thanked us once more and said that was the only social event she has had here.  Damn, this disease can be and is so isolating for the victim and the caregiver.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful thing for both Alice and Beverly! Thank you for sharing. We're going to miss you!