BEATITUDES FOR FRIENDS
OF THE AGED
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO UNDERSTAND
MY FALTERING STEP AND PALSIED HAND.
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO KNOW THAT MY EARS TODAY
MUST STRAIN TO CATCH THE THINGS THEY SAY
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO SEEM TO KNOW
THAT MY EYES ARE DIM AND MY WITS ARE SLOW.
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO LOOKED AWAY
WHEN I SPILLED COFFEE AT THE TABLE TODAY.
BLESSED ARE THEY WITH A CHEERY SMILE
WHO STOP TO CHAT FOR A LITTLE WHILE.
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO NEVER SAY
“YOU’VE TOLD THAT STORY TWICE TODAY.”
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO KNOW THE WAYS
TO BRING BACK MEMORIES OF YESTERDAYS.
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO MAKE IT KNOWN
THAT I’M LOVED, RESPECTED, AND NOT ALONE.
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO KNOW MY LOSS
TO FIND THE STRENGTH TO CARRY THE CROSS.
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO EASE THE DAYS
ON MY JOURNEY HOME, IN LOVING WAYS.
“Respect for the elderly always gives me particular satisfaction”.
– Bl. Edmund
As our loved ones begin to age, there comes a time when we shift roles. Suddenly it is we who become responsible for providing good care to our older
relatives, not the other way around. Such role reversal can prove challenging both for the seniors, who frequently find it difficult to get accustomed to the new circumstances, as well as to the caregivers for whom taking care of an ailing relative entails additional stress and worries. As we are living life at full speed, we become so preoccupied with the daily tasks that we often forget to stop and pay attention to our loved ones. It is very common to feel like taking care of an aging relative is just one of many duties that we must fulfill during the day, and we should not feel guilty for having this pragmatic approach of wanting to provide the best care possible.
Nevertheless, we must bear in mind that it is the small gestures that make a difference. It is the time we spend with our loved ones, the genuine, deep conversations we have with them, the hugs, and the laughs that we share while sipping tea in the afternoon. So as we find ourselves in a constant rush, running from one shop to another frustrated to find the most innovative equipment to make our relatives more comfortable, let us stop and dedicate this time to work on the relationship we have. St. Joseph’s Senior Home staff and the Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception understand the importance of friendship and building genuine relationships with their residents and that is why they treat the sick and the elderly with compassion, gentleness, love, and respect. They devote much time and effort to make sure that all residents feel loved and cared for, and that the St. Joseph’s community resembles a close-knit family. The Little Servant Sisters’ sole aim is to be obedient to the
“Serve the sick with such love, as you would serve Jesus Christ Himself; try to save
not only their bodies but also their souls, edifying them by Christian love and
sacrifice out of love for Jesus so that in such a way they would become worthy to
have Jesus as the Healer of their own soul and body. Therefore, when the sisters
witness the suffering of the ill, may they ponder upon the illness of their own souls
and the manner in which they console the sick, so will Jesus console them”.
– Bl. Edmund
In compliance with these words, the sisters not only care for the sick and the elderly professionally as nurses, but they are also concerned about the
spiritual welfare of the residents and encourage them to pray, to receive the Sacraments, and to unite their sufferings with Christ’s sacrifice. Recently, we have received a beautiful message which captures perfectly the emotions which accompany those taking care of aging relatives. The message was sent by Peggy, as a response to the short prayer attached at the top of the page.
Here are Peggy’s thoughts:
This lovely version of the Beatitudes that aims to speak to the Elderly and their challenges. It is beautiful. Although my mom has passed away already, it brings back memories of how challenging life becomes for seniors AND also their caregivers. There were days I surely lost track of some of these Beatitudes! Mom would look at me and her eyes would say “have you forgotten?”, and the truth is, it is easy to forget the losses that now take over the lives of those we love.
We become busy with the moments where WE the caregivers are entrenched with doing what we believe to be necessary for our loved one and forget that they may not have that need! A warm greeting, smile, hug, handhold… the simple things, can be so much more important than even the most attentive hands-on care. Let us not be so busy, being busy, that we forget these important “little gestures”.
I find this Prayer to be especially personal due to the fact that although my Mom is gone, I now face some of these very challenges, daily, with my spouse. I am so busy talking I forget to listen and he is hard of hearing. I want so badly to keep things neat and clean that I get frustrated if things get out of order (spill the coffee).. I forget to slow down and realize that he is doing the best he can and certainly spilled coffee is no big deal! I could go on and on but you get the idea. Reading this Prayer reminds me to be grateful that I can do things and that we should strive to allow our loved ones to do the best that they can, without recrimination, but rather with joy and gratitude.
Thanks for sharing and listening.