Chronicles of our Memory Care – The Sparrow

The Sparrow

By Luciana Mitzkun Weston,

Villa Alamar Community Services Director

People with Alzheimer’s can present us with candid moments of such purity, that are both stunning and enlightening. They have so much to give!

One such moment usually happens when I encounter “Rose”. Some days I run into her as I make rounds in the community; some days she comes into the office and stands in front of my desk, beckoning attention and smiling. No matter how busy I am on the phone or computer, I always pause and acknowledge her presence.

“There you are, my beautiful lady”, I greet her cheerfully, wrapping her petite face in my hands.

For the two years she has lived in our memory care community no friends or family members have ever visited her, an absence that even in her advanced stage of Alzheimer’s she has not failed to notice. “It’s hard being all by yourself,” she once told me with a long, sorrowful sigh.

Her deep wrinkles soften, enjoying the touch.

“Did I ever sing to you?” she asks, her knees bouncing, almost unable to contain her excitement.

“Would you do me the great honor of singing to me?” I ask.

On cue, eyes on mine, she releases the most angelical soprano voice in a perfect pitch:

“I sing because I’m happyyyyy,
I sing because III’m free,
for his eyes are a sparroow
And I know he’s watching meeeeee…”

Delighted with her own performance, smile sparkling with pride, she waits for her merited ovation.

Applauding and cheering, I do not disappoint her. I compliment her on her beautiful voice and on her choice of a perfectly wonderful song.

“Rose, you make my day”, I tell her, “I just love to hear you sing!” She makes my day. I love to hear her sing.

I embrace her small frame and thank her profusely. Our lovely Rose, our sweet sparrow! She savors the compliments. Lit with glee, she glows like a little girl who’s been given a special treat. I see so much joy in her little face, the pure joy of being. My heart swells with hers, drenched by her joy.

Spirits visibly lifted, still looking straight into my eyes, she asks: “Did I ever sing to you?”

To what I answer: “Would you do me the great honor of singing to me?”

And so, she does: “I sing because I’m happyyyyy

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