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FINDING JOY ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON

June 11, 2013

This past Saturday, I was out the door  just a few minutes after 7:00 am to run to the store to buy snacks for taking to church for our monthly Healing Mass, Prayer Shawl Blessing and social hour.  It is a great joy to be a part of this Ministry and see how it has grown and flourished among other parishes and denominations  in just one short year.  It is quite rewarding to hear the stories of comfort that these shawls have brought to those in times of need and in joy.

Then it was 2 hours of sitting in a chair while my hairdresser worked her magic!  Drive through McDonalds for something to feed the tummy, while I drove the 20 miles to go visit Mom. (I know this wasn’t the healthiest lunch, but it was something I could eat while driving.)

I had arrived  just after Mom had finished her lunch, and was not yet put down for a nap.  She was wide awake and alert.  It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, so I took her outside to enjoy the fresh air. I put her chair next to one of the high-back rocking chairs, so we could sit side by side and talk. I don’t know if it was being outside in the fresh air, or just the right moment at the right time, but Mom was very talkative and laughing.  I understood more words today than I have in a very long time. Some words even formed  semi-complete sentences.

Mom became very interested in one of the necklaces that I was wearing. She picked out the simple strand of red beads, fingered a few of them and said in very clear and understandable words, “I had one like that.”

When I realized where I had gotten it, and yes indeed she was right, she did have one like it. I laughed. She repeated it again, so I thought she must be waiting for an answer.  I said, “Yes, you did have one like this, and you gave it to me.” A puzzled look came over her face, and for a minute I could see the thought process going on behind her eyes. She responded with, “I don’t think so.”

The conversation moved on to other subjects.  She talked about Jim and how hard he works, she talked of his girlfriend, she talked of her younger brother Jerry and when she used to babysit him. We laughed in between each story she told. Throughout most of this time my hand was resting on her knee, her fingers , touching, exploring and feeling every inch of the hand resting on her knee.  At one point her fingers wrapped around my wrist, she raised my hand up, studied it, turned it over and looked at both sides.  She held my wrist a little bit higher and asked, “Is this yours?” Of course I laughed as I said, “Yes that is my hand.” She gently placed my hand in my own lap, patted it, and said, “There.”  Then she went back for the necklace, again taking the red beads, and saying once more, “I had one like that.”  I repeated that she had given it to me. It was truly amazing to watch her with a furrowed brow, thinking and trying to process what I had said. Once again she said, “I don’t think so.”

My joy went beyond the pretty sunny day, and sharing the afternoon outside with Mom.  It was knowing that she was right, and that she knew it too!  Indeed, the necklace had been hers, and no, she did not actually give it to me, though it is mine now.

As we turned to go back inside, she noticed the big flag waving on the pole by the pond.  She said, “We have lots of flags here.” She is right, the  decorations that are changed for each holiday or season have us seeing red, white and blue everywhere.

What a joyful day this was!

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