Mrs. A was becoming progressively worse physically and mentally. Everyone was concerned but every attempt to make her talk or do anything for herself had been unsuccessful.

One afternoon, I went to her and asked, “In order for you to get better, what will need to happen and how can we be of help?”

“Give me a miracle.” She didn’t utter another word after that.

A few hours later, I handed her a MIRACLE.

“What do you think?”

To this day, I still remember the smile on her face.

“It’s very nicely done and it’s in my favorite color.”

“I’d love to give it to you if you wish, but we’ve got to work together to make it work!”

That’s how we started talking regularly and how the “miracle” slowly happened.


Sometimes what you learn in grade school is more powerful than what you learn in graduate school. Papercutting is one of them. As I work on my Easter greeting cards this morning, I can’t help but think of this.


About C

If you consider volunteering at a luncheon for older adults as my first exposure to the field, I have been in geropsychology for at least twenty years. As family, friend, volunteer, trainee, and professional, I have found myself in adult day care centers, senior centers, senior living facilities, nursing homes, medical and psychiatric wards, hospice, and personal homes of older adults. Wherever I go, be it an orphanage, a museum, a prison, an airport, or a random corner in the neighborhood, issues related to aging and mental health often come to mind. I used to think that I could make a difference only if I became a top-notch researcher, educator, or clinician. As I continue to follow this meandering path, it dawns on me that as a nobody in the field, I can still add my light to the sum of light by sharing what I know. Over the years, I have "converted" a few very dedicated individuals to focus on aging-related work within their respective disciplines and encouraged a handful more to stay in this field despite its winding course. I believe by bringing aging and mental health issues to the foreground, we will amass a stronger force to promote advocacy, research, and quality care.
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2 Responses to Miracle

  1. Doris says:

    Working with elderly implies creativity–finding ways to get each individual’s motivation. This is such a great post!

    • C says:

      Thank you, Doris! I think that’s the wonderful thing about working in an interdisciplinary setting. Creativity is something I see and learn from my coworkers daily!

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