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My aunt Bae never had any children. She thought of me as her son and made me feel special, and I loved her for that.

She is in a nursing home now, and nothing I do can keep her from growing old. Nothing I do can take away the loneliness; I cannot stop her fear of losing touch with reality or make her feel as she did sixty years ago. There is nothing I can do, and yet she did so much for me.

Going through the music room one day at the end of a visit, I hear the song leader say, "Now let's sing that most beautiful of all hymns, 'Amazing Grace,' one more time." As the voices rise to sing, "how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me," the thought comes to me: These people are not in the midst of sweet sounds and amazing grace; they are in the midst of loneliness, of fear of losing touch, of feeling forgotten, left out, cut off from their families, and they are probably wondering, "What's happening?" and "Why is this happening to me?" These are questions that only loving and touching and sharing can answer.

When we reach the front parlor, I turn Bae's wheelchair around to face me.
"Is this okay, Bae?"

"Yes, Love, it's fine." I pull the little sweater around her shoulders, trying to show how much I care.

Almost in a whisper, she says, "Bye, my love."

Every family should have a Bae. There is a sentence in Paul's 12th letter to the Church of Rome which will forever remind me of Bae: "Abhor that which is evil and cleave to the good; and in love be kindly affectionate to one another." Amen

--James Ian Walter
an excerpt from the book Moments of Forever


Moments of Forever

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