I’ve asked myself this question all year as I continue to organize and throw or give away, not only unused items, but also ideas. For example, this morning I spent time going through old greeting cards, rereading notes, filing by subject or purpose, wondering what to do with all these cards. How many you ask? Well, I still have the baby announcements from my vintage birth. Most cards only have a signature and you would think I could easily throw these away and only keep the cards with notes. BUT the colorful artwork, the sweet illustrations, all these wonderful ideas for my work. BUT, I have way to many ideas to ever use.
AND, I need to reduce, recycle, resource. This is essential!
Question: What do you do with old greeting cards?
Yesterday I went to visit my mom who lives in a memory care residence. She cannot care for herself, has lost the ability to speak, has impaired cognitive ability, and she hasn’t called me by name in years. More than dementia, my mom has Alzheimer’s. There was a scabies outbreak at the home a couple of months ago, so it had been awhile since I had seen her. Sorry, but I couldn’t take the risk of bringing mites home while my husband was recuperating from surgery.
But, on with the story. For two hours, my skin crawled just thinking of little bugs. But I raised children and kids deal with head lice outbreaks at school…..but I’m off the story again. For two hours I sat with my mom, not verbally communicating, not really connecting. She did smile at my smiling face, once or twice. My mom has this sweet, childlike innocence about her, but it’s really hard to just sit there, or walk beside her as she scoots her feet-propelled wheelchair. I’m a stranger. Inside, I am feeling bad, hating the situation, hoping it ends peacefully for her, and really hoping I don’t end up like this other woman who kept bursting out in anger and was known to throw things. “Best to leave her alone,” is what the caregiver said.
Okay, back to my mom. Two hours, and I’m wanting to get out of there. THEN, the miracle happened, the moment that makes it all worth the effort, the event that still gives meaning to my mother’s life! Mom was on the move, her two feet shuffling the wheelchair forward and heading for the open patio door. Then she stops, just inside the door, and sits so peacefully, looking outside…the tree leaves gently rustling, the birds chirping, the shade cool and refreshing. There is something about her demeanor, she is aware and she is enjoying what she sees and feels. This is essential!