It isn’t easy to watch our grandparents , our parents and ourselves age. We wish they could stay the way they were when we were growing up. But all of us know that it is inevitable that people are destined to grow older and older.
Perhaps what is hardest is to have them slip away mentally. They remember things differently than we do. They talk about the past as if it were present, and we do not know just how to respond.
Cardinal Joseph Bernadin of Chicago had this problem with his mother. She would tell the same tales over and over. Finally once when he was visiting he said to her, “Mom, you have told that story over and over; it sounds like a broken record.” “My goodness, Joe, isn’t that what the Rosary is like?”
And really, isn’t it? We remind Mary our Mother of the best things that happened in her life repeating the Hail Mary fifty times. Why? to praise her for the wonderful “Yes” she said and by that “Yes”, brought the Son of God right down here in our midst! It is almost as if we cannot believe it and have to keep saying it over and over for ourselves.
In heaven there is no time. It is all one grand blessed NOW. No aging; no past; no waiting; no maybe; just one grand infinite now.
It is that NOW our aging loved ones are seeking. Put all the good things you can remember into one big now, and you might get a glimpse of what awaits us in Heaven. Births, Weddings, birthdays, surprises crammed all in one moment. If we had it here, it would be like a huge explosion and we would not be able to endure it.
As the aging persons you know await the big NOW, let us help them endure with patience the review of good things they remember from their lives. And let us remember them,too.
Peace and Joy,
Oldenburg Franciscan Center
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg