Friday, July 19, 2013
The Journey - Elderly Parents
We've been sharing life ever since, some of it has been sorrowful and some full of joy. I'm grateful for every day.
In the beginning Mom was grieving deeply over the loss of her husband, home and her health. Grief is still close at hand, but she has grown accustomed to her new home, even though she reminds me regularly it's really not home. She made friends and became active in her small community. She loves playing bingo and makes trips to local attractions and joins others who live in the center on drives to enjoy the beauty of Southern Oregon.
Mom is blessed, even though each day is a challenge. It's not easy to be old when your body and mind are giving out. And it's not easy being the daughter either. My heart breaks when I see her suffer, but the heartache doesn't strip away any of my gratitude about our being together. We relive memories, share our favorite books and movies and we celebrate holidays and anniversaries together. Whenever possible we get out and enjoy the wonder of nature.
The tough stuff - her health - is something we also share. So much of our time is spent at doctor's offices and even the hospital from time to time. Yesterday she had a doctor's visit that was followed by a hospital visit. She's not feeling well, but she's still full of love and gratitude that spills over onto me. Yesterday while helping a technician with Mom's X-rays, the tech thanked me. I was close to tears as I looked at my precious mother trying to do all that was asked of her while coping with pain. I answered the tech with, "Well, that's my mama." Mom's reply - "That's my daughter."
Her words were warm with love and appreciation. I can't count how many times she's told me how much she loves me and is thankful for me. When we look at each other, even when we're weary, we see how strong our love is for the other. Love is powerful. It is healing. And it makes life beautiful.
These days, like winter, can be sharp and cold, but I am grateful for every one, even those days spent in the hospital. My mother is a gift to her family, and God knew how much we needed her. She needs us too. God's design of family was pure genius - well He is God after all.
If the years are winding down for you or someone you love, make the most of every single day. Spend time together, even if it has to happen long distance. The time will come when earthly days end and we won't have the opportunity for another hug or an "I love you." At least not until heaven..
Don't put off the opportunities for another day. You may not have any more.
Grace and peace to you from God,