Sunday, July 19, 2009

ONE MOTHER'S DAY AT A TIME, 3 weeks later

I must admit that it was hard coming home because of my mother's waning condition. Even though she lives by my bedroom, somedays I just cant/don’t go in to see her. Today is one of those days. Forgive me for using the word, but sometimes when I pass her in her hospital bed, I think of her as a corpse, a living one. She is hardly with us anymore, but we all comfort ourselves knowing that she is in no physical pain and is well cared for by 24 hour excellent nursing care at home, with me hovering.
Adding to the weight of things at home, there was a sudden death of one of our caregiver’s own mother this week.
I love all of my mothers caregivers for that is exactly what they are. They humble me, (not an easy task), with their consistent kindness and reverence for my frail mother, who can hardly communicate with them anymore. They second guess at what she wants and are so sensitive to her every desire and needs, physical and emotional. They have the tasks of feeding her, lifting her up on a hoyer lift, showering her ever so gently, diapering her, keeping her skin glowing and healthy, and her smiling whenever she can.
About 3 years ago we were desperate for help and absolutely stumped by what to do next when her disease progressed to the point that she was encouraged to leave her sweet apartment for a nursing skills facility. I prayed and prayed and discussed incessantly with my two brothers and sister about what to do, what to do.
All of a sudden, at the last hour, we got a phone call that a whole family and a couple of friends would be available to take care of her around the clock. I had never dreamed that they would be people of such quality. Why He often likes to wait until after the last minute to rush the answer, is very scary. He’s odd that way, don’t you agree?
Above is my mother in person.. She is pretty cute in pink and we all have fun with her whenever we can get her attention. Somedays she just lays there and stares. On her better days, she wants to know when she will be picked up for work so she can do her cooking and catering. Often her hands are air-cooking and fixing arrangements for her parties. She is never really bored.
I think she is holding on because she’s a clinger, determined, yet fearful, and doesn’t like surprises. We know that soon she will be in for the most sublime surprise of her life --when she meets her Jesus, Whom she adores, surrounded by the whole celestial family. She has taken each small and so many impossibly difficult steps in her life with such innocent faith, even through the impossible sudden loss of her first child.
Of all the gifts my mother has imparted to me, none compares with the modeling of her humble faith, even though I spent my youth resisting it…and her. At every age, until now at 88, she has been a powerhouse in my life, and a force to be reckoned with many others'. Until a few months or even weeks ageo, she still knew us and could talk and joke with us. She has had a odd and challenging few years, coping heroically with Parkinsons, arthritis, anxiety, and now dementia, yet these days she is unusually peaceful. Anyone with an ounce of discernment can sense Christ's grace surrounding her, even today.
Our Lord,
I thank you that you have given us our brave mother through all the hardships she endured to help our family survive difficult times, especially coming to America. She was so young and worked so hard, alongside my precious father, to keep us afloat as a family. I thank you for the model of a strong and holy woman who lived for You day by day. I thank you for her courage, her talents, and her love. I thank you for giving her to my children as a most loving grandmother, full of life, and stories, fun, and humor..and all that great sewing and cooking..and some scolding too!
As she nears her homecoming to You, please reward her for how hard she worked to model your love to us as our wonderful mother. Remember her when she comes soon..into Your Kingdom.
Crown her with Your love forever, Lord.
Thank You, Father.

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