I never really knew what Namaste meant until i met a lovely strong woman in ltc, caring for an angry demanding bed-ridden dementia husband.
We sat together on more than one occasion and cried, together, very quietly, hiding our tears from our husbands and the staff, in the dementia ward.
I learned that her husband was an university mathematics professor in India, and taught high school here in Canada. She told me, as he hollered, and she wheeled him back and forth.
Seeking comfort from each other, when we could find a moment, because no one else could know how very dreadful this was.
Sometimes she said, What have I done that god hates me so much?
And i would try to say, It is bad luck- no god would do this to us, but i don’t think she ever agreed.
I lost her when her husband died. Gone instantly from the ward. I know she had family in the US and i hope she is with her sons now.
But i learned because of her what Namaste means. The god in me honours the god in you.
And that learning will stay with me forever.