As the snow banks retreat and the first nibs of grass appear, it’s easy to see why this time of year is revered as a season of miracles. When ancient people observed their first celebrations of Easter and Passover, the changing world must have seemed remarkable indeed. The spinning of the globe was not fully understood; the world’s position in the grand universe was still a mystery.
Life must seem just as magical to someone with advanced dementia. Once the symptoms get to a certain point, a person has no real control over what happens to them in the course of a day. Physical and cognitive limitations keep them from exercising free will. Yet, in most cases, their needs are met. Hunger rises and then food arrives. Someone helps them get nourishment. Teeth are grimy and a mysterious hand brushes them. Clean clothes appear; dirty ones get washed.
There’s no joy in being helpless. But there must be tremendous amazement at how this process of life continues to take place, despite so many obstacles. My mother is so delightfully happy when the sweet icing of coconut cake crosses her tongue. She is so grateful when we dress her in a favorite soft shirt or tame the cowlick in her hair.
Making it through the winter was a struggle for both of us. Hoisting bags of coal and dragging ash cans. Shoveling snow and hacking ice from the walkways. My mother got treatment for the wound that sidelined her from walking. Now, as the geese return and the robins make an appearance, it does seem like the world still offers small miracles if you’re really paying attention. Mom had some kind of Renaissance that is allowing her to witness another spring. I don’t know what tomorrow will be like. But today is a beautiful example of why it’s not wrong to be hopeful, even in bleak times. No more coal, no more snow. Just a couple of Easter eggs and a sweet sense of relief. May each one of you find a moment to sense it, too. Peace be with you all.