Monday, 13 February 2017

The curse of dementia; the blessing of care.



One of my new  (since 2006) friends went off to assisted living this afternoon. He, like I, is a retired Priest of the Episcopal Church.

He is moving into the dementia which is connected with Parkinson's Disease.

Our mutual circle of friends have wanted to believe that his onset of dementia has been sudden.

In truth there have been "signs along the way" which we have either not seen, or have chosen to ignore.

A recent incident (which could have placed him in great danger) alerted us to the knowledge that his dementia was deep and troubling.

Most fortunately he had previously signed legal papers, allowing another of our friends (who has rendered stellar service) to act on his behalf in a situation such as this.

So this morning my friend's bits and bobs of furniture were moved to his new home this morning, to await his arrival this afternoon.

I sat with him for three hours this morning at his home, as all this was happening.  He is sad to be leaving this home (since 2002), but he also knows that this is for his best.

He had moments of lucidity, and moments of confusion.

I asked if he would like to pray with me.  He said "no".

Two hours later he said  "O.K. now you can give me a blessing".

He very much wanted me to accept a gift of his copy of the  "St. Augustine's Prayer Book".  This is an unofficial book for the use of  Episcopalian Priests who are of the Anglo-Catholic/High Church ilk.

That's not my tradition  (I am a  liberal Evangelical/Low Church Minister),

But I accepted his gift as a token of our relationship as good friends, and as brother Ministers/Priests in the American Episcopal Church.

When a brother(or sister)  is in need it's not the time to discuss theology

That was my day.

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