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“Is it nice out?”

English: Logo of Alzheimer's Society.

Image via Wikipedia

“Is it nice out?” is a question that my mother asks me many times when I visit her.  She lives in a Seniors Assisted Living community as she has developed Moderate Alzheimer’s.  She is a happy 85-year-old woman who has filled her life with love for her family.  But she cannot live by herself any longer.  She is mobile, she gets into her routines of when to go to the cafeteria and the many activities they have, but she cannot take her meds without assistance.

At least twice a week I visit with her while my wife Linda goes through her apartment, looking for dirty clothes, gives her a shower, washes and sets her hair.  When the hair dryer isn’t blowing, mom will look out the window and say, “Is it nice out?”  She will comment that “the sky is so blue and there isn’t a cloud in the sky.”  I will tell her that the temperature is in the seventies and the wind is blowing.  Mom doesn’t like the wind to blow.  It is perfect weather in Texas for January.

As she sits in the chair while Linda is styling her hair, she will ask me, “Is it nice out?”  I have already answered this question several times since we have been here, but have learned to treat each question as it is the first time it has been asked.  “Yes mom, it is nice out.  Would you like to walk us out when you are done and you can see for yourself?”  She smiles and says she would enjoy that.

We go through this every time we visit.  But on one visit, it hit me.  Every time she asks me the question, it is like it is the first time she has noticed.  How many times do I just slow down my busy schedule and just take in God‘s wonder?  How many times going from one appointment to another do I look at the sky as if seeing it for the first time?  As a child I used to lay in the grass and look up at the sky and try to make out pictures in the clouds.  A cow, a dragon, a flower or just the beauty of the blue sky spotted with fluffy white clouds.  No I don’t do this anymore.  I am grownup now.

So my 85-year-old mother continues to teach her 62-year-old son and I love the experience.  Momma still causes me to wonder.

One day, my mother will go to be with her beloved husband where they will spend eternity together.  I can almost hear her ask my dad, “Is it always this nice here?”

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