Scatter Joy

It was 90 degrees and humid outside so I decided to take my grandson to visit my mom and take them both to Dairy Queen for a treat to cool off.

My mom lives in an apartment in a locked Alzheimer’s unit. The disease sometimes brings out the child in her. She seems to be aging backwards and finding great joy in small pleasures like never before.

We got cones at the DQ and sat in a booth. As I watched them eat, it hit me that they are the bookends of life. Asher, who is 5, just started kindergarten and the world is opening up. The world is closing for my Mom, who just turned 84 and is ready to leave. She keeps asking God what’s taking so long.

A simple cone bridged the vast space between them. They both looked like kids as they wiped vanilla moustaches off their faces.

Before leaving, I bought a box of Dilly Bars. Why not spread the joy?

The frozen treats are the DQ version of a round ice cream bar. Before we took my mom back to her room, I gave one to a tired looking woman sitting on a bench outside my mom’s independent living facility. I gave one to the receptionist. Asher looked bewildered. “What are you doing?” he asked. 

I told him we were scattering joy. He grinned from ear to ear.

We gave one to a nurse in scrubs. We handed one to a man visiting his mother. We gave one to a woman pushing her mom in a wheelchair and gave the last one to her mom. 

When we left, the woman on the bench had just finished her treat. When she thanked us one more time for blessing her day, Asher beamed. He can't wait to go back and scatter more joy.