Today the weather was gorgeous so I decided to bring a few of my grandmother’s favorite foods over so we could share a picnic lunch outdoors. When I arrived with food in hand and proposed that we go outside to eat, she was absolutely delighted. She’s always loved being outside, and the flowers, gardens, statues, and landscaping at Little Sisters of the Poor is quite beautiful.After grabbing a couple plates, cups, and plasticware from the room called the Hospitality Inn on her floor, we headed outside. I parked her wheelchair near a bench at an angle that allowed her to see the front gardens and the little fountain, in addition to those entering and exiting the building. We began with some fresh fruits. My grandmother, who is in her upper eighties, said that she wasn’t sure what the fruits were or where to start. By that I could tell that this was going to be a so-so day in terms of her memory and understanding. I encouraged her to begin with the mango and named the other fruits on her plate.
She found each one delicious and told me so in between exclamations about how perfect the weather was and what a grand day it was for a picnic. As often happens in my grandmother’s presence, I marveled that this woman who has been through so much suffering in mind, body, and spirit still finds such joy, nature, and delight in life.
Even on days when she asks me the same questions repeatedly or makes the same statements over and over, she’s usually asking me about how I’m doing, how my husband is, how work’s going, if I’m warm enough, and the statements she makes are often ones of gratitude, expressions of contentment over the beauty of nature and kindness of others.
In the event that I live several more years, I hope and pray that I will maintain the attitude of gratitude that woman has, the depth of faith, and the delight in nature that she still has in her late 80s.
Lord, thank You for the gift of grandmothers, the beauty of nature, and the gift of faith.