Iíve always hated these assisted living homes. I avoid them whenever I can, but being a pastor, theyíve been a major part of ministry over the years. The thing thatís most annoying about them is how hard it is to find your way around. Iíve been looking for the same room for over an hour now. I guess I should have picked up a floor map. But then Iíve been in enough of these places; I should be able to figure this one out.
Actually, Iíve been in more places like this than I can remember; and it seems like Iím spending more and more time here every year. Everybody just keeps getting older, even my friends. At first they try to make do at home with outside help, but mostly they just end up in one of these homes with very few visitors - so I try to do what I can.
But Iíve got to be honest with you, visiting these folks day after day can get pretty depressing. I guess I just try to remember that God doesnít forsake them. Even when things get so mixed up that nothing makes sense to them anymore, His peace still passes all understanding. Iím certain He has a way of leaving some memory to remind them of Himself.
Well, that wasnít the right turn, but the roomís got to be around here somewhere. I really need to finish up this last stop and get back to the office. Nan will be bringing lunch soon.
Sheís really something, you know, my Nan. Weíve been together ever since college, back when we had everything figured out and things made sense. She was stunning Ė always knew how to dress and carry herself. I remember sheíd wear the prettiest skirts and sweater sets, sometimes even a hat and gloves. And there was always that string of pearls or a simple cross pendant on a gold chain.
Not like fashion these days. Iíll tell you something, Iíve never seen so many women dress so unattractively as I have in the last few months. Everybodyís wearing these two-piece track suits. And the tennis shoes! I havenít seen a woman in-honest-to-goodness dress pumps in ages. Not my Nan, though. She knows how to dress.
If you ask me, they really should design these places better. I feel like Iím going in circles. I could have sworn that room was on this floor.
Weíve had a pretty good life together over the years, but lately Iíve been kind of concerned about her. Sheís been especially moody. Seems upset every time I see her, like sheís been crying. And sheís been real forgetful too - can never remember to give me my medications on time anymore. Iíve actually had to start getting them myself. I worry about her ending up in a place like this someday. But I suppose I shouldnít worry too much just yet; sheís probably just going through the change.
This is getting ridiculous. I couldnít have missed the room again. I feel like Iíve already been down this hall once. No, maybe twice.
Now Nan and I, weíve had a good run of things; my only regret is that we donít have children. I remember always talking about our own little daughter or son, but I suppose things just didnít work out the way we expected. Poor Nan, I think she still dreams about them in her own way. Sometimes I wonder if thatís whatís finally going be the end of her. You know, always dreaming and thinking about something that canít be.
Where is that room?! Honestly, the incompetency of some people Ė who ever designed this building didnít know what he was doing. How I am supposed to do my job if I canít even find the room!
Here comes one of those perky young girls in her track suit. I suppose sheíll know something.
ďThere you are! Rev. Jaeger, honey, weíve been looking all over for you. You know you just canít wander off like that. Your wife and daughter stopped by your room tonight and couldnít find you. Theyíre real worried. All right, sugar, just calm down; the important thingís that we found you. Letís get you back; itís time for your Aricept. And your son and grandkids will be here soon too. Heís bringing you a real nice birthday cake and even some balloons. Come on dear, letís go, Iíll take you back to your room.Ē
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