“How to Dance in the Rain”: An Internet Forward Worth Reading

  • A little over a year ago - February 14th to be exact - I posted an article on OurAlzheimer's titled " Must-Read Poem: Crabby Old Man." It was an e-mail forward like we all get and I hesitated about posting it on this site, but it touched me deeply and I wanted to share it. The feedback was overwhelming.


    Since that time, I've been contacted, from the far reaches of our country, by readers wanting to know if I know how to get a PowerPoint presentation that they have heard someone created, based on that poem. I have no idea who created this PowerPoint, or if they would share it. If any of you readers know about this presentation, please let me know, as I will pass on the information to those who ask.

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    NOTE: I'd written the above introduction, then stopped to check my new e-mail. There in front of me was a new request for the PowerPoint of "Crabby Old Man." This request was from a social work intern in an elder life program. I told him I was, at that very moment, in the process of referring back to "Crabby Old Man."  We were both left wondering about "coincidences" and things that are meant to be. At that moment, any doubt I had about passing on "How to Dance in the Rain"  - and I was having some -  left me.




    A column reader sent "How to Dance in the Rain" to me after she'd read my column on remembering our loved ones as they were in the prime of their lives (a subject I address often).


    I asked if she knew the background of the piece, and she said it was an e-mail forward. I searched for a reference to credit someone, but this phrase and article, like "The Crabby Old Man" poem, seems to have been adopted by the internet. If anyone absolutely knows where this peace originated, we will joyfully give them credit. I hope whoever started this piece on its Internet journey knows how much good they have done.


    "How to Dance in the Rain"

    It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.

    I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him.
    I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound .

    On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

    While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

    I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

  • I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'

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    He smiled as he patted my hand and said, 'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'

    I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, 'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'

    True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be...The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

    'Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.'


    For more information about Carol go to www.mindingourelders.com or www.mindingoureldersblogs.com.

Published On: March 18, 2008