Let your father and mother be glad;
let her who bore you rejoice.
(Proverbs 23:25 ESV)
Peonies and roses are her favorite flowers. All flowers will make her smile though and be glad she has them to look upon. She is my rosebud! I love her so! When God calls her home, I shall surely miss her. At 98, I have learned to appreciate the moments with her.
For Mother’s Day, I will go to visit my mother in the nursing home, taking her a favorite lunch, a few gifts and cards. We will make some phone calls to my sisters, her grandson…that is if she is up to all of that. For her 98 years, that may be a lot on any one given day. Sleep may be what she most desires. Or she may feel like listening to her iShuffle music. Whatever she wants, Mama gets on every day! She’s 98, you know!!
She may just want to talk with me or know that I am in the room sitting nearby. Visiting this precious Mama is always an adventure. She is mighty special after all of these years. She birthed me when she was 33. I am the oldest of three. Back then, 33, 36, 39 were older ages to be having children, but she never thought she could have any at all. She has always felt blessed to have been a mother to three. My Dad died when he (and she) were only 46, leaving her with three to raise…the rest of the way. It was not easy especially as we hit those adolescent years. I was on the cusp of that period when he died. I have apologized to her more than many times for my stupid behavior in that era. She forgives and lets it go. She loved and loves us equally, I believe. She is thankful to have me near as I am the one with her now in these latter years of her life, has been for 14 1/2 years. She expresses her appreciation for me and for what I do for her. I accept with a humble heart. We have been through some tough calls as she has moved through many stages of dementia. Some have hurt me, yet I forgive, have let those feelings go too.
We have laughed together. We have gone to our local AA baseball team’s games (The Hooks) with others from the nursing home, watched major league games on tv together…me who never watches baseball nor played it! But Mama LOVES her baseball, her Chicago Cubs and White Sox and San Diego Padres, all places she lived and knew her teams and their players, their averages and all that other stuff!
Mama remembers much and forgets much, makes up new and wild stories, and I have learned that I just allow those to be okay, changing a dangerous or scarey direction if need be. The mind riddled by dementia cannot easily be persuaded easily otherwise. She is beautiful in her old age because she is my mother and she willingly wears a red hat @ 98.
And she can be silly and having fun too, willingly wearing reindeer antlers!
She was a VERY independent woman for many-a-year. She needs help now, more than I can give her and has needed the nursing home for over 4 years now. Prior to that, she was in assisted living for 10+. So, my part has gone from doing little for her, to doing just about everything. Now, I am able to focus on loving and being more to her. I can sit and enjoy her more now because I don’t HAVE to do as much. Mind you, I still do a lot, but I get to be with her and enjoy her a whole lot more than before. I may sit there in her recliner watching her, thanking the LORD for this Mama of mine. I am not like my Mama in so many ways, but I thank God for the ways in which I am like her.
I thank you, Mama, for all your love and care for me. I thank you for being both a mother and father to me, to us, after Daddy was gone. You raised me well. I am grateful for the lessons you taught and for those that I remember and use to this day! You are wonderful, Mama. I love you.
On these major holidays, I like to thank the staff for working on their Mother’s Day, their Christmas, their holiday. They always look most appreciative. That makes me feel good for appreciating these special ones who care for my special Mama. On a Mother’s Day, one of these employees wishes me a ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ and I just thank her for I have learned to do that rather than try to explain my true reality.
Mother’s Day is always difficult for me because I never have had children. I have grown to handle it and I always think I can handle the next Mother’s Day until the actual day! As I meander on out to my car though, I become sad. For many years, this day still brings this overwhelmingly hard and sad feeling. I cannot seem to help it. For many reasons I have no children. For many reasons I would have made a good mother. For many reasons I have worked with children most of my life. And for many reasons I am so grateful to be a child of God. For many reasons, I will be fine. I know that the LORD is my Shepherd, my Abba, my One and Only. The human heart just takes over for a little while and that’s okay.
For me, Mother’s Day is really about my mother, my Mama, not about me. May I remember that, LORD. Call me back to that thought and these moments with the Mama You gave me for life on this earth. I love You, LORD. You are my Abba Father. I am so grateful for You. Amen.