One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, (the resident says their name) is going to heaven. And when he gets there he will say, “My loving sweetheart is on her way.”
The resident says this little poem several times a day. He is a military veteran who lost a leg in Viet Nam. He has faced many physical challenges in his life. Now, he struggles with dementia.
However, this resident comes at life with a positive attitude. He may be confused in much of his thinking, but he always is looking for ways to bring a smile to someone else. He jokes, encourages, and has accepted the hard truth that he will only leave this facility when he goes to heaven. He is very confident and assured this is his destiny.
This resident loves for me to play classic Christian hymns on my iPad. He knows the words by heart (where they are stored and cherished as treasure). He loves to get a hug or a backrub. He always has kind words for me. My official title is life enrichment assistant but with this resident I am often the receiver of enrichment rather than the provider.
The resident and I talk often about things of faith and the future. Even though his memories of the past are stronger than the memories of five minutes ago he would rather focus on joy to be found in the current moment rather than remain in his past except for when that past can be a spiritual tool for the present time.
I am thankful for the spiritual direction I can provide but even more thankful for the spiritual direction I receive from this man of faith and courage.