— to acknowledge that you see and are present.

If nothing else, the last 10 months have taught us that hugs, a pat or rub on the back, a kiss on the forehead or cheek, or a gentle touch on the hand connect and ground at a cellular level.

Something we learned early on with Mom, was that when left alone, the confusion and “alone-ness” grew and fear set in.  Lesson learned:  We never leave the room or enter without acknowledging our presence and hers.  “Mom, I need to go to the other room.  I’ll be right back…” touching a hand, knee or a shoulder, establishing connection and repeating the same when entering the room and saying, “I’m here, Mom.” and if needed,   “What can I do for you?  Do you need anything?”  Giving space for their voice to be heard as well despite any limitations that day/moment holds for them — the frustrations are there, but, the gentle touch lessens the fear and anxiety in that moment.

Every day brings a few challenges… the adamant “no” in response to a question.  The reframe a minute later that gives us a different answer and accomplishment.  Gentle touches, hugs, an affirmation that we are in this together …  and that our love for each other is boundless.

Our days are never dull.  The connections are many and Mom’s face brightens with each connection and frankly, so does mine.

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