Staying Focused

Bird on a wire

Let your eyes look forward, your gaze be straight ahead.—PROVERBS 4:25 [JPS]

As Mom and I were strolling along the pedestrian mall, I noticed that the jewelry store across the way was having a sale. There in the window was the bracelet I’d so admired, and it was half off!

“Let’s go in,” I told Mom. It was easy to direct her in her docile Alzheimer’s state into the bustling shop.

Suddenly, I felt her pull on my hand; something was wrong. I turned to see her face display such panic—wide-open eyes and a deep frown—that I immediately realized this was no ordinary fear.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, moving closer to make sure she heard me.

“There’s so much noise,” she said.

Oh, no, I thought, what have I done? I quickly turned around and led her back outside. Mom visibly relaxed as we crossed the street and made our way to our favorite shade-covered benches. We sat down, and I turned the direction of our conversation to how blue the sky was, how fluffy the clouds were, the sight of birds looking for crumbs. We sat companionably in the quiet buzz of the city, the noise at a safe distance, and Mom’s nerves were calmed by the innocuous dialogue between us.

That’s when I realized that I had to assess every situation I brought Mom into much more carefully, and always give her my full attention, difficult as it might be. That bracelet, after all, could wait.

Today's Prayer:

God, help me stay focused on the needs of my loved one.

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