Rev. Kathy R. Spate
March 23, 2019 |
Bethany’s Pastoral Care program is 100% funded by donations to Bethany Care Foundation. “Memory loss, difficulty with thinking, problem solving, judgment and the ability to perform everyday activities are some of the symptoms experienced when one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Laura has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Laura is a resident in long term care, and I am her Chaplain. I walk with Laura as she takes me on a journey, a trip down the hallway. To her it is a trip to Edmonton. Along the way there are memories to be shared; people Laura knew, places Laura worked at, lived in, and shopped at. I listen to amazing stories that make sense only to Laura as she laughs, raises her voice in delight, or shakes her head in disgust. I am caught up in her renewed joy from the past. In the meantime we need to overcome numerous obstacles on our walk. To me they are carts, wheelchairs and tables. To Laura they are family members and friends she must introduce me to, a rough path we must cross over, and heavy traffic to navigate before arriving safely, in Edmonton. We both exclaim how weary we are when we do arrive but also how much fun it was to go on this journey together.
As Laura and I walk and talk on this afternoon, we overcome obstacles along the way, problem solve and share past joys. And it all takes place as we journey down a hallway, together. “