A Cheerful Heart

Smiling woman standing in front of colorful tiles

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.—PROVERBS 17:22 (NIV)

I think it’s OK to laugh when Mom, who has Alzheimer’s, inadvertently says something funny. The disease is so depressing and sad, that if I can find a sliver of humor during my visits with her, I let myself enjoy it.

Mom has never used a computer in her life. She’s never sent an e-mail, owned a tablet, or even used a cell phone. In her mind, a tweet or twitter would just be an annoying sound that birds make.

We are eating lunch in the dining room. She hasn’t spoken a word during the entire meal. Suddenly her eyes, normally full of confusion or sadness, show clarity. She stares at me as though she is about to impart some meaningful message. What was she going to say? That she loves me? That she remembers who she is? I wait with bated breath, longing for words that let me know Mom is still in there somewhere.

“I don’t know how to Google,” she declares.

That was unexpected. I laugh in surprise.

“I’m not at all surprised to hear that,” I say.

She nods as confusion returns to cloud her eyes and she opens her mouth for another spoonful of ice cream.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, thank you for the gift of laughter to help me through the low times. Thank you that my spirit is not crushed.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts