The canoe slips through the narrow passageway just as the sun touches the water. As we round a corner, we spot a black-capped heron, poised for fishing, elegant with its delicate feathery head plume, powdery blue beak and long ivory body. He stares at us for a moment and then lifts his grand wings and disappears into the groves of elephant ear trees. Though we see him for only a few seconds, his beauty stays with us throughout the day.
So many times, when my mother was deep into her Alzheimer’s journey, I rounded a corner and had a glimpse of her true depth and beauty. Then, like the heron, she disappeared into her own personal forest. But the image of her shining face and the excitement of the momentary connection remained with me.
This month, I’m going to write about one of my favorite topics—love. I’m asking myself, “What have I learned about love by knowing and caring for people who have Alzheimer’s?” I welcome your answers to that question.