Sunday, October 14, 2012

Let Go and Join the Dance

The fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the wind, and join in the general Dance.”

Thomas Merton

Do your most carefully laid plans fall flat? Do you find more and more that your anticipated plans aren't workable no matter how much you try?

Recently, this has been reality for Boo and me. Since Boo's third stroke, we had worked out a system of reading and narration that we both enjoyed and that also exercised Boo's long and short term memory. Lately, this hasn't gone as smoothly as we'd like. Boo has tremendous difficulty remembering the readings from day to day. There is a definite decline in his cognitive ability.

Boo enjoys planning the books and articles he wants me to read for a month or two at a time. He anticipates our reading and discussions. We both enjoy the give and take, the strange twists and turns our discussions take. Lately, this hasn't worked. Boo has difficulty remembering what we've read by the end of the reading. By the next day, he's completely lost the train of the book. Even when I retell the previous reading, he nods blankly. He just can't remember.

His pleasure in anticipating our reading and discussions is diminished. For a while, Boo didn't want to read or discuss. He tried to hide his loss of memory with disinterest. Finally he realized that I'd retell what we'd read and he could resume the story line without losing everything. Now, he'll agree to readings...but not with the pleasure he had just a few weeks ago.

I tried different things. Nothing has made a real difference.

Last week, I let go. All my struggles to help simply weren't helping. All my wonderful ideas fell flat. Boo just isn't able to comprehend and remember as he did.

Guess what?

Letting go was the answer. No, Boo doesn't remember much more. He still doesn't anticipate our times reading and discussing as he once did.

The pressure to remember is gone. The pressure to discuss is gone. If he feels like listening, I read. If he feels like discussing, we do. We go with the flow these days.

There's an ease to our days that had been absent the past few weeks. We're both learning to join in the Dance. And learning to let go of those things that no longer work as they once did. We're learning to enjoy what is...right now, today.

Boo's memory may never be what it once was. We're both learning to accept that. We are searching for new things for Boo to anticipate. More immediate. Simpler.

With acceptance comes peace and joy. We have so much for which to be grateful. And we're beginning to feel like joining in the dance once again. Letting go of Boo's memory, which we can't control anyway, and leaving it to God is a blessing. God has blessed us with the peace that He's in control and with joy in the small things.

Join us in letting go of those things that we can't control and see what God will do. Enjoy the dance.

And remind me to let go when I start to pick up my worries again.


  1. Letting go is often hard. Praying for continued strength for you!