Praying the rosary was not a part of my life growing up. It still seems strange that it has become such an important part of my daily life now. I learned to pray the rosary when Boo had a stroke and asked me to pray it with him. Now, with his limited attention span, we've had to become creative to find ways to pray the rosary.
- Pray and meditate on only one decade per day. On Boo's most confused days, this works best. We may pray five decades of the rosary during the day, but because we only meditate on one mystery, Boo is better able to incorporate that mystery into his life.
- Pray each decade and mystery at different times during the day. While Boo can seldom sit for a whole rosary at once, he can many times pray the whole rosary over the course of a day.
- Pray a walking rosary. This idea came one day when Boo didn't want to take a needed walk. We walked around the block slowly and stopped to pray a decade at various spots. We've done this several times in the past few months. It's amazing how Boo remembers that just around the corner is a statue of Mary in a flower bed and wouldn't that be the perfect place to pray the next decade?
- Hold hands and use your spouse's fingers as “beads.” Many times we do this when Boo is agitated at the doctor's office or hospital.
- Dedicate each decade for a specific intention. For some reason this is one of Boo's favorites. He really tries to match the intention to the mystery.
- Pray a story telling rosary. This can take quite a while, but because it's broken up by memories, it holds Boo's attention. One of us will tell a story from our lives that relates to the particular mystery on which we're meditating.
- Pray a family picture rosary. Each decade is offered up for the family member in the photo. This is one way for Boo to feel close to family who live in other states and to do something truly helpful for them.
- Pray a candle light rosary. We can only do this when Boo is steady and not too confused, but he really likes this at night. We place five tapers around a small statue of Mary. As we begin each decade, we light a taper.
- Pray a singing rosary. Well, we've not actually prayed the whole rosary this way, only a decade at a time. I founded the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be in song on You Tube and on occasion we'll sing a decade.
- Pray the rosary in Cajun French (or maybe Latin). One of Boo's daughter's gave him a CD of the rosary in Cajun French and this is a treat for Boo. It brings back memories of his extended family getting together to pray the rosary sometimes.
Does anyone have any other ideas that might hold Boo's attention while praying? When we try to pray the rosary daily, our whole day seems calmer and more peaceful. There are times when Boo simply can't manage even a decade. Making the effort is extremely important to him and somehow just the effort makes a difference.