I trust in God - Tina Y. Gerber
My Mother has Parkinson’s and dementia and resides in the lockdown wing of a local nursing home. Something happens when her great grand daughter comes to visit. Mother and the other residents who are upset, agitated and confused will often reach out and smile. For most seniors my Mother’s age, raising children was a significant part of their lives.
Individuals who are usually passive, or non communicative suddenly take notice of Harper’s happy go lucky behaviour. Babies represent new hopes and aspirations. Their smiles and hugs have a certain honesty that’s difficult to find from others. After all babies are ridiculously cute, with chubby little cheeks, and twinkling little eyes. My husband and I can’t wait for our Monday and Thursday baby day fix! We look at the calendar and the count down begins. We adore her cute little habits and she knows she has us wrapped tightly around her cute little fingers. Babies have an innocence, unconditional trust and vulnerability which triggers desires to nurture and protect. It is also our job as (health care) workers or as family members to keep the ones we love safe. It is our job to preserve their dignity and quality of life. At the end of the day, it is their world we are living in.
We regularly visit my Mother and as we were getting ready to leave and bring her inside from the tiny garden out back. I kissed her cheek good bye and mentioned it’s been a long day. I just finished writing about smiles and how they can change the world so: I looked deeply into my Mother’s eyes, and smiled. Now, Mother doesn’t say too much anymore, she squirmed about and did not make immediate eye contact. I said, “Are you okay? What’s wrong?” (thinking she didn’t or couldn’t understand me), she said, “And I am stuck in-between these four walls!” I couldn’t believe my ears, I was shocked. She rarely utters two words, yet, today she was cognisant of time and place. It made me ponder my fate and possible future difficulties of growing older, possibly a snippet of her reality and mine.
As we retire from jobs, families begin to move away, we lose friends and spouses to death and illness, this can reduce daily social contacts and stimulation and has a direct impact on mental and physical health. Lately, I’ve been thinking about all those possibilities, especially as I get closer and closer to retirement. We all need to stay engaged not just in our communities but to make positive contributions. We can all give a valuable gift of time and in turn this gives us a sense of purpose.
Life is about constant change, seeking new opportunities and trying to improve. As a society, we all desire to retire early to enjoy ‘the golden years’. Life expectancy is steadily increasing, we are healthier and with the advances in science and technology, the trend for longer lives should continue according to the statistics. At 65, I will retire from what I presently do, with or without financial independence. I consider it, retiring to a life purpose and time to do more of what I am called to do and simply live my life. I trust God to show me the next step and I am excited about Jesus and how he will impact the next stage of my life. In spite of the fact that I will no longer be getting a salary, I can still do the valuable and fulfilling work that honours God and helps other people.