Monday, March 29, 2010

The Power of Connection

I often wonder whether my daily calls to my mother make any difference in her life. She's got Alzheimer's and can't remember things from one minute to the next. Our conversations are usually short, and limited to same few topics I know she can master.  I ask her about the weather, the time on her watch, and the state of her health. She likes to tell me how 'well' she is doing for her age, and how good she has been all her life at taking care of herself. "J' ai toute ma tete" . . . ("I've got all my head"). How about you? She needs to know that I am OK. We are all doing fine. She is relieved. Several times, she asks when am I coming to visit next. Several times, I tell her, I will be visiting soon, in two months. And wish her good night.

Today, I asked my brother who lives close to her, and has frequent contacts with the staff at the nursing home, what good are the few minutes I spend with her on the phone? Make no mistake, he tells me. Apparently when I was gone to India last month, and was not able to call for two weeks, she got worse, and would not recognize her room any more. Now, she is back to being oriented again. 

Yet another example of the power of heart to heart connection, that endures, long even after memory and mind have gone.


  1. Wow, that's quite beautiful Marguerite. I think it can be challenging when we might not see a specific outcome from our actions. The same can be true for meditation. I often have to be careful of not getting 'trapped' into negative thinking such as 'I'm not good at this,' or, 'it's not working.'

    Also, it's great to hear about the MBSR work you are doing. I was just reading the article on anxiety that you wrote and I'll have to try that exercise as I am absolutely going through some of that. I know exactly what my major issue is (career)...and it's still causing me great stress and anxiety, even after going through the program. Maybe going through that exercise will help out a little bit.

  2. How sad, but what a great little story about your ability to strengthen her!

  3. Nate, have you ever tried doing self-collages? It is a great visualization exercise that can help sometimes with seeing the whole forest. Just a different tool that relies on spontaneity and tapping into unconscious.

  4. Thank you Pete! My mother has been such a great teacher of the heart, these last few years.

  5. I haven''s probably something I should try though. Also, I've always meant to do a little journaling, but I haven't done that as well, which might help.

  6. The great thing about creative self-expression, whether through art or writing, is its ability to bypass the narrow field of rational thinking. Giving our heart, our larger consciousness, our intuition, a chance to come through, and inform our choices