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Navigating the Path Ahead

by PamFord Davis  
3/20/2015 / Short Stories


I greet Mamie in a brightly lit hallway of our assisted living facility. Dazed, she shuffles tattered bedroom slippers on her way to the dining room for breakfast.

"Mornin' Mamie. Mmm, I smell bacon!"

She does not acknowledge my presence. Stooping, with head barely raised, I wonder how she navigates the path ahead. Mamie begins another mundane Monday.

'Lord, how can I help her?'

He renews hope in my spirit and puts a song in my heart.

"This is the day, this is the day that the LORD has made, that the LORD has made. I will rejoice, I will rejoice and be glad in it!" My caseworker Joanne is on duty at the front desk and smiles up from paperwork. Making eye contact, she beams and completes my chorus, singing "And be glad in it!"

In thirteen years of assisted living, I have grown in admiration of her efficiency; furthermore, as sisters-in-Christ, Joanne has been supportive through acts of sacrificial love. She returns to the job at hand and I continue my trek through the recreation room to the dining area. Suddenly feeling a bit winded, I lean up against my walker and stop.

Deep breaths Patti. There's no rush. With regained strength, I put a smile on my face and propel forward to assigned seating. The shifting of weight from the cushioned handles of my walker to straight back chair is little challenge. Yet, with fervor, I pray for the day that my physical therapist will determine I no longer need assistance of a walker.

"Ready for cereal, tea and toast, Patti?"

"Yes, thank you. Have they delivered the newspapers yet?"

"Not sure, the paper man might be late this morning. Roads are really iced over."

Remembering channel nine forecasts I'd viewed while dressing, I nod. "I'm so tired of snow and ice! I'm afraid my family won't be able to come in on my birthday and I miss going outside for fresh air and sunshine." With a smile, he says, "Last summer, you sat for hours on that bench out front!" He is so right; the only thing I didn't like about those lengthy stays were the people nearby puffing on their cigarettes. To no avail, I had complained to staff repeatedly.

The minimum wage male attendant goes to the kitchen for my breakfast. Working his way through the city university, he fills a daily morning shift before attending afternoon courses. As I wait, I busy myself reading a copy of our February activities left atop the table. These days' times are tough and the activities director does not have sufficient funds to offer residents many outings.

'Goodie, a trip to Red Lobster!'

Reading further, I am delighted to see a returning visit of Jericho. I love their music, especially the song about King David and the Rock. I know the words by heart and always sing along. Music is an integral part of my life; words of an old hymn begin to flow. 'My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness'

I enjoy conversations with breakfast companions before leaving to inquire about the newspaper. Reading the paper has been a part of my morning routine for many years. Living on a fixed budget, I skimp in some areas. Delivery of the daily Post Standard is worth added expense. Finding neatly folded papers in the lobby, I take one and settle into an overstuffed chair. Being short of stature does have its drawbacks; at a little more than four feet, my legs dangle between the chair and carpeted floor.

After reading the extended weather forecast, obituaries section and TV listings, I seek out the Billy Graham column. The theme of today's article is hope. Thinking about my earlier exchange with Mamie, I surmise that her problem is one shared by many residents. They see no hope for a better future. Wondering what Reverend Graham has to say, I read on. He states that hope comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. His scripture reference strengthens my faith

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3 KJV)."

With cherished memories of Central Baptist Church and Brother Bond, my eyes well up with tears. I have been born again. Jesus saves.

'I go to tell Mamie'

Devotionals are her first love in writing. Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Devotions for the Deaf, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Coosa Journal, With God Daily, Mary Hollingsworth's The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter. http://www.pamforddavis.com
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