She couldn’t remember anything. The paper had marks on it–her own special code, it seemed. I sat beside Angie coaxing her to write in her journal, but her mind couldn’t grasp the mechanics of it anymore.
“You were just telling me about your boys.” I said, fixing a smile on my face.
“Dana has boys?” Angie looked at Dana who sat at another table.
I drew Angie’s attention back to the present. “No, you said you had boys.”
A blank look returned to Angie’s face. Most times she can’t form a complete thought. She would start to talk about something generic and it would fade off like an old piece of film that had gone bad. I decided to read her more stories from the book I brought, and the stories held her attention. I used inflections in my tone of voice as I read to her that afternoon.
When I was done reading the story, I asked, “What brought you joy today?”
Angie looked blankly at me again. Basic questions, like that and others, were difficult for her to formulate answers.
Suddenly, she stood up. “Look at that!”
I watched her walk over to the window. Angie pointed at the most magnificent bushel of flowers growing from a pot in the garden. The petals were pearl-pink, large, and shaped like a vase. She discovered her joy of sitting in the garden, soaking up some sunshine and being around things that grow. As I watched her face fill with light, I silently thanked God that she found her joy again.
I said goodbye to my friend and left the building. I breathed in the warm air, glad that I could find my joy, and grateful for the body God gave me.
Life is so short. People say that all the time, but I don’t think they get just how short. I don’t understand how people can spend their day living such sheltered lives, full of fear, when life is so big.
Because one day you could wake up and not remember any of it.