A lady that I used to know from church once told about an old man in the church where she was raised. Whenever he prayed, he always included a request that the Lord always allow him to possess his right mind. She said that as a kid, she thought that was silly, but as she grew old herself, she understood all too well why the old fellow asked for that favor.
Nearly every time that I pray, I ask the Lord that I never lose my senses to the point that I forget what Jesus did for me, or take it for granted. Sometimes, I ask him that I be allowed to “live ‘til I die.” He knows that I mean that I want to maintain enough health that I never have to be bedfast and a burden on anyone. My father was blessed to pass quickly from a heart-attack at age 59. My mother-in-law spent the last 10 of her 95 years slightly brain damaged by a stroke, weak physically, and doped up by the nursing home so she wouldn’t get emotional when she was about herself enough to understand her circumstances. That’s not living.
This evening, I read of a man visiting an elderly friend in a nursing home. Before the old gentleman would eat, he’d first offer some of his meager fare to his younger brain-damaged companion in the room, and the angry old woman who was sharing the TV with them. I recalled one of my old pastors telling of his dear, sweet mother turning into a foul-mouthed hell-raiser in the nursing home after her stroke. I also remembered my own struggle with my temper over the years. I hope that if I ever have to be condemned to a home to await my death, that I will be nice to the workers and fellow patients, and not someone that they dread to be around.
One of my former coworkers is a sweet little girl that I almost wish that I could adopt as my daughter, despite the piercings and the pink hair that she used to wear. She now works as a nurse’s aide or something in a nursing home. Some days, a few of the old people there are so mean that she leaves in tears. She realizes that some of them can’t help it. She says though, that some of them know better, since they only act that way with the workers, but act really sweet with the manager. I hope that I never have to be in such a place. I hope that I can live ‘til I die. And I hope and pray that I always have my right mind. I pray the same for you. © 2013