Although my Alzheimer client, Pam, has been in a nursing home for sixteen months, something new happened this week. CNA Jackie touched my shoulder as she walked past Pam and me. She had never done this before, and I smiled with delight.
A touch in passing — was she showing respect? Affection? Acceptance? Caring? No matter how Jackie intended the gesture, I welcomed it. As a child, I used to lie in bed at night, weeping over the seeming separateness of humankind. To that lonely little girl, everything in the universe felt so isolated, so alone. (The feeling may have stemmed from weighing less than two and three-quarters pounds at birth and spending the first two months of my life in an incubator.) At any rate, no touch is insignificant to me.
In this week before Thanksgiving, I simply wish to thank everyone who has touched my life, and I leave you with a video of Teddy Pendergrass, who was left paralyzed from the chest down after a car accident, yet he went on to establish a foundation that helps people with spinal cord injuries — besides, of course, sharing his gifts of song.
with gratitude and great love,