One of Boo's almost daily struggles involves praying the rosary. After his stroke in December 2007, he asked me to pray the rosary with him occasionally. For someone who didn't grow up Catholic and who knows little about the rosary, it was a bit of a stretch. He always led it and I found it a very peaceful prayer. In August 2009, after his second stroke, Boo couldn't remember all the prayers alone. So, I downloaded instructions on how to pray the rosary and bought a rosary on CD. That was helpful and I came to treasure our prayers. Now, however, that is not enough.
Boo's attention span varies from day to day. Most days he simply cannot pray a whole rosary at once. We often pray a decade several times a day. This may be the wrong way to do it, but it is the only way I've found that enables him to still be able to include this prayer in his life on a daily basis.
The next issue developed around Thanksgiving this year. Boo became very upset that he couldn't remember the mystery all the way through the decade. We tried a number of different things, but nothing really seemed effective. Last week I stumbled across an old blog posting about praying with children. Some of the ideas seemed doable and not so childish as to be offensive. I showed Boo the blog post( http://ponderedinmyheart.typepad.com/pondered_in_my_heart/2009/04/praying-the-rosary-with-little-ones.html/ ) and he liked the idea of having a picture of the mystery that he could see and hold. So, I downloaded the cards, printed and laminated them This has been so helpful!
Actually holding and manipulating rosary beads has become an increasing problem. At first, I thought this was related to his attention span---and it is to an extent. In the morning, Boo can usually handle a large knotted cord decade rosary. That's really the only time any more. The rest of the time he'll hold the decade rosary, but won't attempt to manipulate it. Tonight he asked when I was going to make the roses for him like the children used in the blog, that he wants to have something to hold for each prayer. I thought that would be too childish, but he evidently didn't. I suppose I'll crochet 11 roses in the next few days and we'll try some more.