Christmas & Dementia



Joseph, the guy we sold our house in Midland to, stopped by earlier today.  He came bearing a gift of a large pile of mail, which had gone to our former address.  In the stack was a number of Christmas cards, a bill from an ambulance service in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and several items of junk mail.  I’d wondered why our normal pile of Christmas cards was so much smaller this year; I realized I had neglected to send out change of address cards in the fall when we moved to our new place in Odessa.

This was the second time that Joseph had delivered mail to us, driving all the way over from Midland.  We couldn’t have asked for a nicer guy to purchase our house.  The dogs gave him a big welcome, as they tried to run out the front door.  They were unsuccessful, as Cookie was playing her usual position of goalie.

This was my first Christmas season with Dementia, and it was different.  Our three foot indoor Christmas tree is still lit up inside, and our outdoor lights continue to shine.  Our friend Joseph’s kind delivery of the mail served to extend our Christmas season, which liturgically ended yesterday on the Day of The Epiphany.

In our rather frantic society, it seems fewer people understand the Season of Christmas doesn’t end immediately after the celebration of Christmas.  But I shouldn’t be surprised; the stores are already changing over to Valentines Day and the Season of Easter.  They forget, or more likely have never been taught, that Mary and Joseph didn’t rush home with their baby.  They were still in the manger, several days later, when the Three Wise Men arrived with their gifts.

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I forget things fairly often due to my Dementia.  My “senior moments” occur fairly often.  That being said, I have not forgotten the story of God sending his Son into the world.  I can still, as the old hymn goes, “tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.”  In this new year we have entered, I pray that you will, in your own unique way, learn to tell it too.


Fr Dave



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