After a pleasant drive to the Alois Center on a crisp fall day, I arrived and walked down the hall to Ed’s room, wondering what type of mood he was in that day.
When he first saw me his eyes lit up and he said “Oh, it’s you! Oh, I am so happy to see you! You are an angel! I am overwhelmed to see you! Oh, I am overwhelmed!”
He took my hand and kissed it several times, continuing to say he was overwhelmed and didn’t have words to say how happy he was to see me. His eyes were shining, his face was full of joy, and he held my hand, kissing it again from time to time. That was so typical of Ed – ever the quintessential European gentleman.
He was so happy that he was near tears. Now I don’t have words to describe how his joy and his being near tears both at the same time combined to make a unique emotional experience for me. He was so happy that he almost cried. While we were sitting on the sofa I picked up The Little Yellow One, one of his beloved stuffed animals, and handed it to him. He reacted joyfully and as though he had never seen it before.
“Oh, the little one. I love him so much!” (He referred to all of his stuffed animals as ‘him.’)
His eyes lit up again and he petted the little animal with loving strokes and then kissed it several times on the top of the head with an affectionate expression on his face. His extreme joy to see me and his intense love for the little stuffed animal affected me to my core and I realized that some people with Alzheimer’s have the innate capacity to experience joy that can’t be put into words by a normal writer like me.
I was so happy to see Ed in that wonderful state of being, and I felt warm inside all the way home. If only we all could feel such joy from a simple visit from a friend.
Does anyone else have stories to share about joy with your loved one?