Monday, November 19, 2007

Living in the moment

I know, it's a concept we all know the "right" answer to. "Live in the moment, enjoy each day..." In general I do pretty well with this concept; God gifts me with a Joi de Vie, and I enjoy the little things in every day life. However, I am learning more and more about the importance of each little moment from 2 ends of the spectrum of life.
My Nana has Alzheimer's. She has nothing else except this moment. Each time I see her, which is several times a week, she comments on how much the baby (whose name she will never remember, or whose face she will never recognize) has grown since the last time, and how it's been a while sine we visited. Sometimes it really breaks my heart to think she doesn't know just how often the family visits, or how the little great-grandkids hug her with affectionate bewilderment. What she does know is the now. She knows that her family is sitting with her. She knows that we are around and that she loves us. She must ask me a thousand times each visit if she can hold the baby for me (usually to help when Bella is crying). She doesn't know that she's held her twice already; thankfully she doesn't know how often Isabella screams, either :) . When I carefully place Bella in Nana's arms, her whole face lights up. Nana, for that moment, is the happiest person alive. All she has is that moment. She won't have a memory of it, and she didn't even know to anticipate it. The only thing she knows is at that very moment she is in love with the precious child she is holding.

Isabella, being an infant, teaches me the same thing. I don't wish my days away; I prefer to try to focus on the little 'happinesses' of each day. However, despite my efforts, I catch myself thinking "when she sits up..." or "when she's sleeping better..." Hope for the future is fine. I look forward to the fun things I will do with her as she gets older. The Lord knows I look forward to her sleeping through the night! But all Bella knows is the now, and it is unfair for me to wish that away. What she knows is that now I am playing with her, holding her, nursing her. Sure, the downside is when she knows that now she's hungry, sleepy, generally unhappy; nevertheless, the NOW is the only thing that's important.
Really, I am learning more and more how good the NOW is, and growing in my "joi de vie" exponentially thanks to those who know nothing else. What a blessing.


AnchorMama said...

That was incredibly beautiful! Thank you for sharing it.

Christine said...

What a good perspective! It's so easy to fall into - when we get to....(fill in the blank). So good to remember that all we really have is the now - the time is not our own - we never know when it will be taken away.