Joy, Life & Living, Love, Videos

when mind and body fail, look for the dancer inside

Alice Barker chorus line dancer
Chorus line dancer Alice Barker in her youth

November 23, 2015: Mom was determined to get up and move today. I was glad I was there to hold her hands and shuffle several circles around the drawing room with her.

“You’re walking so well Mom,” I said, remembering how she used to love to dance.

“I know,” she said. “I’m good at walking.”

We also sang and talked this afternoon. When I look at her now, I want to enable her to live every moment as fully as she can. I also see her as she once was, and know she has a had full life with many joys and sorrows. I celebrate that too.

When I got home this afternoon, I found a message in my inbox from my friend Rebecca; there was a video attached. It’s of 102-year-old former chorus line dancer Alice Barker watching herself dance. In the video, she explains why they called her “Chicken Little” in her heyday.

I notice her lovely smile and her beautifully manicured nails as she lies in the hospital bed, and I’m grateful for others like me who believe in giving their elders as many small pleasures and moments of joy as possible on the last leg of their journey.

A voice off camera asks Alice Barker how she feels about seeing herself dance so long ago.

“Making me wish I could get out of this bed and do it all over again,” she replies.


Of course I cried. Who wouldn’t?

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