Slowing Time

Time is measured by earth’s revolution around the sun.

One day is measured by earth’s revolution around its axis.

One moment is a division of one day.

These days all moments blur together

but today marks the day Mom would have made 96 revolutions around the sun.

Today is Mom’s birthday.

Only a year ago four generations gathered around her, seated in her wheelchair

Her grandnieces laid a beautiful display of pink peonies and orchids and white roses in her lap. Mom gazed at the blooms in awe and wonder.

She kept asking, are those for me?

Alzheimer’s kept her from recognizing the day, or fretting about time.

There is much she could have taught us in this time of isolation, when days stretch on.

For her mind and her heart lived only in the present moment.

No before, no after, only now.

And there was joy and wonder in every moment, as there was on her 95thbirthday last year.

Her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews and their children circled around her to sing Happy Birthday. Her eyes lit up with joy and with a smile joined in to sing happy birthday to herself!

Each hug from her great grandchildren, each kiss on the cheek was treasured by her. As one child stepped away she would wave her hands, beckoning for more hugs and kisses.

Her words were few, but each sound, each gesture voiced one thing: Love.

There is no act to small

no single moment too sacred

no gesture not treasured

in these times when time is slowed.

That is the gift that Alzheimer’s teaches.

That is the gift that isolation teaches.

For as each moment is isolated, one by one,

and one minute blurs into the next

the simple things,

a word of greeting, a wave from across the lawn

a face time call,

bring a smile.

These single treasures bring us joy.

Today I remember the things that brought her joy.

I cut roses from the lawn and put them in a vase.

I light the candle my sister gave her one birthday.

I water the geraniums mom loved in a clay pot.

I play the Mozart sonata she would listen to next to me at the piano.

Mary, Jesus’ mother, who Mom adored,

reflected these words the best, written in the book of Luke,

these words that Mom lived

the words we should live today: His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

As time is slowed, as it did for Mom, we have a choice to treasure each small moment.

Mom is renewed now.

Her mind and body are whole.

Restored to the way it was meant to be.

Free from pain, sorrow and disease.

I am sure from heaven she prays for each of us

that we too will be restored during this time.

Be made whole in body, mind and spirit,

with God.

From heaven she sends me a reminder she is a new creation. A moment ago a swallowtail butterfly landed on this bloom, a Mexican Petunia.

It happened in a moment. There was no time to capture it in a photo. And the blossom of this flower only lasts one day.

Many moments passed by as I stared at the flower, hoping the butterfly would return.

It did not.

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