A cheerful heart is good medicine…—PROVERBS 17:22 (NIV)
My mother-in-law sat at the kitchen table while I fixed dinner. Suffering with Alzheimer’s, she’d moved in with our family when we realized it wasn’t safe for her to live alone.
“I miss Margaret,” she said.
Margaret had been her best friend for decades. She loved that they shared the same name, although my mother-in-law had gone by her nickname, Stevie, for as long as I had known her.
She chuckled. “We used to get into all sorts of mischief.”
I peeled potatoes while Stevie told of their shenanigans on a double date. I laughed as if I had heard the story for the first time. The truth was I’d heard the same tale several times over the recent days.
After she finished, Stevie sighed. “I miss Margaret.”
“I know you do,” I said. Then I heard the same story again.
Even as Stevie forgot the names of her grandchildren whom she saw daily for almost three years, even as she sometimes stumbled over my name, she never forgot about her friend. She was always eager to share these memories with anyone who would listen.
Some days when she seemed a little down, I would prompt her, “Tell me about your best friend Margaret.”
She would smile. “We used to get into all sorts of mischief. Did I ever tell you about our double date?”
“Why don’t you tell me.”