Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget

This week I went to see one of our members who lives in a nursing facility which has become home for many residents in the throes of dementia. Bob is one of them and slowly but surely he has drifted away from the shore of responsiveness to others. I don't see him as often as I should, but there just isn't much to say, and often he is sitting out where even a prayer or a scripture reading is awkward.

Normally I take the stairs to his floor but it is a hassle to use the code for the secure door so I punched the button for the elevator. The doors opened and there was Bob's photo with four others who are veterans. I did not know this, and had assumed that St. Paul's had two WW2 veterans still with us, Rae and Fred. Now I know there are three.

It hit me as I left him that the motto for Remembrance Day is "Lest we Forget." Has Bob forgotten his service to his country, along with so much that is precious in his memory? Or are his experiences surfacing in the jumble of stuff that rises for dementia patients? I read recently that many of the 200,000 Shoah or Holocaust survivors living in Israel are having horrifyingly real flashbacks as they are beset by dementia. How unfair on top of everything else.

I pray that Bob isn't forgotten because of his Alzheimers. Thank you, God, for the veterans who are left. Thank you for Bob, and Fred, and and Rae, and many more.

What are your thoughts today?


IanD said...


Stacey said...

Thank you to Bob, Fred and Rae.

Today is the first in at least a decade where I have not been able to participate/observe in a public ceremony to mark my remembrance. Instead, I took a moment this morning from the dock of a friend's cottage, overlooking a beautiful lake. We are so fortunate, to live with so much.

With solemn gratitude.

Laura said...

Another reminder that our elderly folk lived so fully and should not be defined or diminished or forgetten because of the challenges of aging.
I recall as a kid sitting in church behind a veteran who had shell shock and still 4O years post war, when the organ started for each hymnn, Gord jumped from his pew, startled by the loud noise. I have thought of his visible response to his wartime experience often and truly wonder how anyone returns after war and is able to put life back together again.