This time of year makes me want to stay at home and bake. I have partially bruised apples in the fridge begging me to make an apple crisp. I have canned pumpkin in my pantry that is longing to be a pumpkin torte.
Autumn is one long sensory delight. The smells and tastes draw me back to my childhood and the simpler days of life on the farm.
I wonder sometimes if autumn has this effect on our residents too. Does the taste of roasted squash or the texture of a knit blanket take them back to an autumn evening with their family? Does the smell of a campfire remind them of telling stories with friends?
God's gift of senses helps to ground us to those happy times, even when we may have left other memories behind. The simple exploration of our senses can bring back the flood of memories that a thousand questions cannot touch.
Remember this as you visit your loved one, especially if he has lost some of his ability to remember. Focus not on the questions, but instead on the feelings associated with the senses. You may be surprised at the memories that surface.