February 16, 2011

that joy

i'm currently conducting some research for the geriatrics course i'm taking which involves sitting down and testing individuals above the age of 65. we are to test their cognitive abilities, emotional health, and a host of other areas pertaining to their daily lives. i just started this task last week, and it has already become a beautiful journey of discovering wisdom and strength from an incredible and inspiring population. after each session, our professor has asked that we write a journal entry describing what we learned from that visit. and so i would like to share my first journal entry with you so that you might also get a glimpse of the daily beauty that i find in the tasks that i am blessed to perform...

his hands were shaking as he held the pen, trying to accomplish the once effortless task of writing his name. his eyes squinted as he held the page even closer to his face, trying to distinguish the lines. he asked for the question to be repeated, making sure his hearing aid was officially turned on. and i sat there silently: wishing i could give him my hands, wishing i could give him my eyes, wishing i could give him my ears.

she held her head in her hands trying to remember the day’s date. her voice quivered as she confessed that she just couldn’t recall those names. a blush momentarily covered the wrinkles as the embarrassment showed on her face. she was paralyzed in frustration and helplessness, trying to remember the knowledge that she had just years ago. and i sat there silently: wishing i could give her my memory, wishing i could share my youth, wishing i could temporarily mediate the shame.

but he had a smile, and she had a peace. it was a smile that could only form by the perfect formation of wrinkles. it was a peace that could only come from a life of leaning on and trusting in GOD. they had a contentment, only acquired by eighty years of living. they had their own distinguishable laugh that covered the anguish and grief of any tears that might come. they had a joy, only created by the addition of grandchildren. and i sat there silently: wishing i had his smile, wishing i had her peace, wishing i had the contentment, wishing i had the laugh, wishing i had that joy.


  1. Charissa, this is so beautifully written! Your writing touches me deeply. You have a gift, and you are using it to His Glory!

  2. Beautiful---brought tears to my eyes as I read!