To become a follower to Darlene's blog, click on the "follow" tab at the very bottom of the screen.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


My microcosm of the world in the nursing home reminds me of St. Mary's Mead. Because it's so small, you see, I get to know the people pretty well.

The most interesting to me, if the saddest, are the people whose minds aren't healthy. What is left of the core of the person they were ten, twenty, thirty years ago?

What I find comforting are the people who love the Lord. Many here claim faith (we are the buckle of the Bible belt, after all.) But in several it shines through, as refracted as a prism, in different colors and lights and not at all perfect. But glorious in beauty.

First of all there is a songbird. Her mind is the most far gone, but she loves to sing praises to the Lord, to tell of His salvation, to love little children. She always has a chuckle and a laugh and a "praise the Lord!"

Our calling bird (aloha-oy, oy, oy) can carry on an ordinary conversation at times. At other times, she's cussing and fighting mad, and I'm not sure how much is her ornery nature and how much is dementia. But, oh, the joy of listening to her singing her heart out, hymn after hymn after hymn. Today God reminded me that when I sing with her, singing together because we both love the Lord, He's right here with us. I need people like her, her urge me to praise the Lord.

One of our newer residents loves to give benedictions. I don't mean a formal blessing. But she makes a point of seeking each resident, steepling her fingers and pointing them at her new friend, and mentioning something she has seen that she likes about that person. I haven't heard her mention Jesus. She doesn't need to. She shows it by the love that flows from her.

What do others see in me? I don't know. I pray that they see the Lord in me, His love. That the four of us, together, will be light and salt that testify to the love of God and His grace and offer of salvation.


Candice Speare Prentice said...

Great article, Darlene. Seems what people feed their souls with over a lifetime comes to fruition, doesn't it?

Darlene Franklin said...

It certainly does, and I see it here so clearly.

Bonnie Leon said...

Darlene, thank you for what you do. My mother lives in an assisted living home and she has dementia. She's much loved by the aids there and we love them -- they are angels.

Bless you.

Darlene Franklin said...

Bonnie, thank you, but I am a resident here as well. :) I watch them and wonder what I will be like in twenty or thirty years' time. The ladies I mentioned here are such an inspiration to me, because their lifetimes of faith bear such beautiful fruit.