Be always humble, gentle and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another.—EPHESIANS 4:2 (GNT)
My mother lives in a memory care unit. I visit frequently and have become familiar with several of the residents.
Joe is always cranky. His coffee isn’t hot enough. He doesn’t like the crust on his sandwich. Sometimes he just wants to argue. The staff members avoid him when possible. He is usually sitting alone in the corner.
Margaret, on the other hand, is pleasant to be around. She thanks the staff when they bring her a cookie. She compliments them on a new hairstyle or a flattering color. Yesterday, a nurse was wheeling her down the hall. Margaret’s hands were raised in the air, as though she were riding on a roller coaster, and she was squealing “Whee!” with the excitement of a young child. The caregivers smiled and showered her with attention.
I realized that I react to my mother’s moods the same way. When Mom smiles as I enter her room, I pull up a chair and settle in next to her recliner. I linger as I reminisce over happy times. But if Mom scowls when she first sees me, I greet her but find an excuse to leave after a short while.