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After meeting with my Gram's care team today, and agreeing that she needs an amplified level of care, I headed down the long hallway to her room. I've made friends with a lot of the beautiful people that wander the corridors; each on their own individual journey of another place and time. One gentleman is 101 years old! He dons his Civil War hat and makes his way quite impressively through the building. He still plays music with the Veterans band several times of the year and that just inspires the pie outta me! Man, I hope I have the courage to power through life with the same great attitude that he does! Next, I notice the lady with her purse that looks like she's always on her way to go shopping - that will be me! Two other ladies - "Double & Trouble" or "Thelma & Louise," as I like to call them, saunter down the walkways giggling and chattering all along the way. They always comment on my long hair and love to touch it as we cross paths. And, sweet Jackie....cheerful, talkative, watching over everyone. She is the "concerned mommy" of the group.

This is life's paradox in its most raw and vulnerable form. Why is it that wisdom and youth have to move in opposite directions? It's unfair, cruel, frustrating to say the least! It's on my list of top things to chat with God about when I get to Heaven! These people are our world's finest treasures, trapped inside busy minds with often with no verbal way out. Or worse yet, a sharp mind and bright eyes stuck in a body that doesn't cooperate. This is my where I find my grandmother. She has a quick wit, a decisive mind, a lifetime of wisdom and she's stuck in a body that is just a bag of beans. Why do we have the best of our life's wisdom just when our bodies are starting to fail? It's been the hardest thing to know whether to encourage her to fight back to health or allow her to just "sink in" to the end of her life.... I decided that it was okay not to know and we are just living each day to the fullest.

True to form, this lady cannot be predicted! The power of the human spirit prevails again! I walked into her room (never knowing what to expect) and after she gave me her "Mrs. Potato Head Angry Eyes," because she couldn't remember me being there last night until almost 11PM, she looked me straight in the eyes and said, "I want out of here. When am I leaving?" I'm sure the look on my face was priceless as we both stared at each other in complete shock! It was almost as if we both had to turn our heads to the side and look for a translator!

I wasn't sure she even knew what she'd said.

Sure enough, she had meant it! The nurses helped get her into her wheelchair and the first thing I did was get her over to her steel guitar. We got the picks on her fingers, turned on the amp and she played a few bars for me! What a sweet sound to my ears to hear her play. Seeing those beautiful hands on the strings again reminded me never to count out the power of the human spirit! God created us to heal and be healed. Our bodies want to heal. I have so much personal evidence of this in my journey with each of my parents and their brain injuries. It's so important to never give up!

We have a very long road ahead of us and I'm also aware that her status could change again dramatically at any time. We are so blessed to have this focused time together. And so for now, we laugh and love and live every single minute to the fullest.

~ Kim Kennedy Hoff

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