Walking into his room I noticed he was half asleep & half awake. He seemed surprised to see me. Well he had seen me once last week, but short term memory at 89 years is kind of shady, at least for him. I went in there with a plan to focus intervention on sitting/standing balance. Although I should have known he wouldn't have been washed & dressed by the nursing aids. It was not an occupational therapy goal set for him, to become more independent with self care, but I ended up helping him out with some of it to challenge his balance sitting at the edge of the bed. The nursing aid loved this, they are always hoping it is part of OT intervention, they have such a demanding job.
Anyways, as I was saying, I shocked him. He looked at me and then started a long conversation :
"Are you a nun?"
No, I wear this scarf because I am Muslim.
You're not a nun? (he's hard of hearing and does not have hearing aids for whatever reason)
No, I am Muslim.
Oh, you're a Moslem!
How about you get up out of bed?
OK..but are you a Modern Muslim? You seem like all of us, you don't cover your face or wear black??
Some women cover their faces, its all about modesty in every aspect of a Muslim's life. At the very least the clothes have to be loose and everything covered but the hands and face.
But you look so modern...a modern Moslem (more like Mozlum!!)
There are many of us living in this modern world, you look modern too!
Ok, so let me explain something. I'm thinking this guy has lived most of his life already, and he seems really interested..so I started asking him questions like what his faith is, especially after he inquired if I believed in the Ten Commandments! Ok, so for me, it is important I work on the treatment plan, but who am I kidding, it was an open shot and I just had to go with this conversation.
He expressed that although he is Catholic he doesn't really have a religion, that he is confused and has no idea. SubhanAllah/Glory belongs to God. As unsure as he seemed, he appeared to believe everything I was saying by commenting: Yeah that makes sense! Or it could just be my gullability too!! This 89er mentioned the belief in One God. I was explaining how Islam defines Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him). It was a foreign idea to him that the trinity is not something Muslims hold true and that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is not God. SubhanAllah. Every time I would say something, he would look at me and say "But you're just like everyone else, you're a good person" Once he continued on with that and said, "But most of them (Muslims) are not like that, right?" Again, my gut was telling me he was falling for it, the Truth! I corrected him ofcourse and I loved his curiosity.
So then talk about our permanent home began. I explained that Muslims view life as an Exam, if a person worships One God and devotes all actions to please that One God by following the examples of the great men who were there to teach us: from Noah to Abraham, to Moses and Jesus and Muhammad (peace & blessings upon them) then we've got a good place waiting for us in the Hereafter.
Then he had random questions that I answered like Fridays is the Muslim's holy day rather than Saturday of the Jews and Sundays of the Christians. Another back to my head scarf/hijab, do I take it off at home and whether I was married or not. I had to answer that I am a mom. Alhamdulilah/Praises belong to God. Oh, and if Muslims repent to anyone? He was especially agreeable with this point, that there is a direct relationship with God by every individual person.
So after I finished helping him wash his back, and arms while he was sitting at the edge of the bed (and about his balance, it was fair, he just started to lean at the end) and after I put on his hospital gown around his shoulders, the nursing aid walked in and my 30 minute session with him was up.
I left his room walking down to another unit for another resident of the nursing home making duaa/supplication that he will die not except in a state of Iman and that he be a companion of mine of Jannah/Paradise. But first, I have to make it there! I hope, I pray.