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Sunday, September 30, 2012

THE SONGBIRD'S TALE

A couple of weeks ago a tiny, 80-year-old black woman joined our "family."

Quickly I dubbed her our songbird,  because she sings, sometimes for an hour at a time.

The rest of the time, she wanders around the building, from exit to exit, testing all of the doors. At the moment she has removed her shoe and is pounding it on the door. She desperately wants to escape, because she always sees smoke and she's convinced we're all going to die.

An aide speculates she might have cloudy vision due to cataracts that create the illusion of smoke. She must be terrified.

And as a friend commented, the nature of songbirds is to fly. No wonder she doesn't like a cage.

But I have come to appreciate our songbird. Even when she's wandering the halls at any hour of the day or night, opening residents' doors and turning on the light. She's done it to me three times already. Either she is trying every door in her desperation to escape. Or she's wanting to warn us all of the fire.

Other times she just sings, though. She still sees the smoke. But she digs deep into the faith that sustains. In spite of the threat of imminent death, she sings, "It's all right, it's all right now. Jesus is all right, He's all right now."  She sings the same 2-3 note melody with variations on the same words. The theme is constant: it's all right now. When she praises the Lord, her fear goes away.

Oh, to have that rock-solid faith when my mind starts going and I'm eighty years old . . .

Not enough people left comments last week to give away a book. A reminder: I will give away one book for every five comments left on my blog this week. Please answer the following question: Does our songbird remind you of someone you know? Talk about a senior who has influenced your life in some significant way.

9 comments:

Page After Page--A place to connect said...

Wow! I didn't realize it was like this! I agree - it's wonderful to see her depending on her faith! Ignoring the smoke she *sees* must be hard, but God sustains us through all of our hardships!

Dana Wilkerson Spille said...

Darlene ,I am learning so much by your blogs .As I was reading your blog about songbird what drop into my spirit was that no matter what a born-again christian may go through in life that are spirit man that was created after God will never forget to give praise to Him and knowing that everything will be alright because Gos has us in the palm of His hand .You are teaching those of us so much through your blogs please don't stop writing about you journey and all that you are learning .Blessings ,Dana Wilkerson Spille

kbailey said...

There is a vast difference between a person of faith whose mind is beginning to fade, and a person without that faith. I used to work in an Alzheimer's facility. There are those who, without faith, are pushing others around in their desperation to escape the discomfort of their minds, not easily distracted. Then there are others who either sing or hum their way through, who are easily turned to their faith, and less likely to be inhospitable to others. What a gift to be the latter! How sad not to have that. :(

kbailey said...

There is a vast difference between a person of faith whose mind is beginning to fade, and a person without that faith. I used to work in an Alzheimer's facility. There are those who, without faith, are pushing others around in their desperation to escape the discomfort of their minds, not easily distracted. Then there are others who either sing or hum their way through, who are easily turned to their faith, and less likely to be inhospitable to others. What a gift to be the latter! How sad not to have that. :(

Anonymous said...

I loved this post! How wonderful to get encouragement from a little old lady whose mind is fading....yet her faith still shines through! What a heart of gold she must have! And bless you, Darlene, for seeing the positive and good in someone that most would casually push aside as a crazy old lady or sadly think she is a nuisance! It really hit home for me to try and see the best in people! It is how God looks at us! He sees us from the inside out. He knows our true heart! Thank you for sharing! Sheila

Darlene Franklin said...

Thanks to all of you. All I hope to do is to invite you along on this journey with me. I live with an incredible group of people.

Cindy Regnier said...

I have enjoyed your comments about Songbird on facebook. I admire this poor lady for her faith. What I really admire is you, Darlene for seeing this woman's plight for what it is rather than just shrugging her off as an annoyance. I'm sure that's how most people see it. Inspiration to trust through all the "smoke" in my life.

Darlene Franklin said...

Cindy, I learned a long time ago that understanding goes a long ways (for me) to accepting. . .She's precious. Even if occasionally I have to grit my teeth and bear it.

Amy Campbell said...

I definitely have to say my grandpa was an influence on me. He was the best storyteller. I loved to hear those stories so much that I have become the family storyteller and genealogist.
Campbellamyd at Gmail dot com