Our true self is who we are. Nothing can take it away. My father passed away in November of 2014. Dad had Alzheimer’s. Dad lived the last few years of his life at the VA Home. Despite suffering the symptoms of this terrible disease, my father’s true self survived. Dad’s true self remained intact and untouched by Alzheimer’s.
My father’s humor lived on. His humor would not be taken from him. Dad would look at me and then stick out his tongue at another in the room during our visits. Dad worked the room with his humor. We all knew he was kidding.
Dad loved music. When we visited during holiday events, music was always part of the festivities. When the music played, Dad responded. Dad sang. Dad moved his head to the beat. Dad smiled. Dad snapped his fingers. Dad loved music.
Dad loved hugs. When Dad was hugged, his face lit up. We all need hugs. It reconnects us with the ones we love.
Dad was kind. Dad was a good listener. Dad patiently listened to us when we spoke to him. Dad loved his grandchildren. When they visited, he simply watched them. They brought him pure joy and delight.
Dad loved chocolate. Dad continued to love chocolate. If it had chocolate in it, Dad would eat it. This included: muffins, cookies, pudding, brownies. If we brought it, he would eat it.
I remember listening to a recent Onbeing episode. Krista Tippett is interviewing a psychologist who has led support groups for early Alzheimer’s patients. The psychologist discussed an Alzheimer’s patient who was speaking to his spouse. The patient looks at his spouse and says, “I don’t know who you are but I know I love you.” His true self was still intact. His true self was full of love. It was full of love that he poured out and upon his life long spouse.
What is our true self? Our true self is who we are. It has been given to us by God. It will always be a part of us. It uniquely belongs to each one of us.