Poor little Annabel is lost. We’re afraid it might be forever.
Faithful followers of our journey here know that Annabel is Mom’s doll. I bought it for her last year and it has been a sweet comfort to mama and seems to calm her. Mom named the doll herself and loves to say her name over and over. She talks to Annabel and asks her if she’s hungry or cold. She tells Annabel that she’s cute and that she should be a good little girl.
But occasionally, for some unknown reason, Mom has been known to toss her beloved Annabel in the wastebasket. I’ve fished little Annabel out a couple times and Dad has found her there many times. And now we wonder if somehow we didn’t notice the dear dolly in the wastebasket, and if she made it all the way out to the garbage can.
Because we looked everywhere for Annabel today. And the trash was picked up yesterday.
Mom doesn’t seem concerned. I don’t think she recalls that Annabel exists until she sees her. But Dad always made a point of taking Annabel to bed with them, because Mom would calm down and chatter love to her baby.
We can always buy a new baby doll for Mom. But it all makes me wonder how many people in this world feel discarded. How many have been thrown out, or neglected and somehow no one seems to notice. And no one seems to care.
And I’m afraid this happens sometimes to the elderly. And to those with dementia. Sometimes they are treated with less respect. Or they are neglected. Or they are put somewhere and pretty much forgotten about.
And just like Mom forgets about Annabel when she doesn’t see her, she also doesn’t realize the sweetness she’s missing out on cooing love to her baby.
And I think that happens to us, when we neglect the elderly and/or challenging people in our lives. I think we don’t know what we’re missing. There are lessons to be learned, and tender moments that will touch our hearts forever as we push through the hard stuff and keep on loving the people God has put in our lives.
Loving others faithfully, through all the challenges, grows us and stretches us in more ways than we know. And brings a depth and richness that we don’t want to lose or ever toss away.