— 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.