Saturday, May 12, 2012

MOM: IN APPRECIATION

My mom and me when I was three
She's been in a nursing home for five years now, and in assisted living for two years prior to that.  But my mother is still my mother, she knows us, loves us, and in spite of her many health issues now, is beloved by God, who watches over her every moment.  In spite of her sometimes-difficult demeanor, the staff at her skilled nursing facility are professional and treat her well.

I've posted several times on her birthdays and on previous Mother's Days, but I want to discuss something different about her this time.  Her mind is not as sharp as it once was (well, whose is, right?), and she sometimes says something out of the blue that is odd.  She might ask about someone that we haven't seen in years, or asks why she is in the nursing home, like she's forgotten.  It is painful to hear that, bringing home the realization that life is definitely time sensitive.

With great-granddaughters
When my father died in 2000, he suffered for a couple of weeks before the Lord saw fit to take him home.  Society has tried to address suffering over the ages, especially when it hasn't been able to come up with an appropriate reason (according to man, anyway) as to why God allows suffering.  Oh, I'm not here to say that I have the ultimate answer, but I have thought about suffering, especially when witnessing loved ones in pain, illness, and heartache.

I know the Lord is preparing our family for eventually being willing to let Mom go to Him.  Sometimes He takes people in an accident, in sleep, etc., with no warning.  At other times, people suffer through the pain of terminal illness, and it can take years.  How do we make sense of it?

My brother Steve, Mom, and me
Sometimes we can't, at least not down here.  As a Christian, I do know that God makes sense.  While I don't always understand why certain things happen, I do know that God loves me and has a reason for everything in my life--and in the lives of all Christians.  It's a matter of trust, actually; do I trust Him enough to accept what He allows to come into my life?  Do I love Him enough to realize that He sees the entire picture down here, while I just see my little corner of it?


With Bethany and Holly,
her granddaughters
My mother has had a full life.  She's in a holding pattern now, certainly.  All we can do for her is love her, visit her, bring her some little trinket that she can still use, and pray for her.  We do that.  Is it difficult?  Of course, and we will visit her later, wish her a wonderful Mother's Day, and try to make her feel special, as she most surely is.  When all is said and done, she was a good mother and grandmother.  So many memories come flooding back as I write this post--how big a part she has played in my life.  Many of you have already lost your mothers, and your memories will no doubt carry you through a Mother's Day without your mother here to see, talk to, or do something for.

I am fortunate to have my mother nearby, even if she is only a shell of the full person she once was.  I am thankful, appreciative, and misty-eyed that I still have the opportunity to tell her that I love her, and I will. 

Mom, Annika, Bethany, Alexa
For now, however, I cherish the moments with her, remind her of old memories that cause her to smile, and tell her about her grandchildren and great grandchildren who live hours away.  We keep her supplied with current photos so she can enjoy them in absentia.

I love you, Mom.  Thank you for everything you've done for me.  It's my turn now to do things for you.

Happy Mother's Day!!

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