I don’t know who wrote the poem that follows my words in this column, but as I read it, I found the words so very touching and I wanted to pass along some thoughts for younger readers of this magazine and young viewers of the ACP website. We all have so very much to be thankful as we journeyed, and perhaps still journey, with those wonderful teachers and mentors, who so unselfishly shared their stories, their love, their faith and their prayer time.

Remember, we all have someone we know and love that is elderly and faltering.  And, regretfully, most of us tend to stay away from uncomfortable circumstances. But, let me encourage you NOT to shrink back from your duty to honor and respect the elderly.  In many cases, they knew you when you were just a stupid kid and put up with you because they loved you, and they knew you were just going through a phase in the process of life that made you a such a jerk.  They may have changed your diapers when you were a baby, and you may have drooled all over their shoulder, but it didn’t matter to them.  They held you anyway, because they loved you, and knew that you needed them.  It is only right, when the tables are turned and they need assistance, that we should be there for them.  I hope as you read the following that God will bring to mind someone, and that you will go to them, or call them, and let them know that you love them.  And honour them every chance you get, because the day will come when they will not be there anymore; and the day will also come when you will be where they are today.

The Beatitudes For Caregivers

Blessed are they who understand
My faltering step and shaking hand.
Blessed are they who know my ears
Must strain to catch the things they say.
Blessed are they who seem to know
That my eyes are dim my wits are slow.
Blessed are they who looked away
When I spilled the coffee at the table today.
Blessed are they with a cheery smile
Who take the time to chat for a while.
Blessed are they who know the ways
To bring back memories of yesterdays.
Blessed are they who make it known
I’m loved, respected and not alone.