“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Mom sits by me on the love seat. I start singing our song. “I love you…” I pause, waiting for Mom to sing her part, “…a bushel and a peck.”
But instead she says, “You do?! Thank you! Go ahead!”
I try some of our other songs, but none of them are connecting with Mama today. I start naming her nine siblings with many pauses. She only fills in one name…Charles.
“Who are you?” she asks me.
“Oh, Churl. Okay.”
“What’s your name, Mom?”
“I don’t know,” she says.
“Are you Nina?”
“Are you Nina Faye?”
“Yeah. That’s right.” And then she shouts, “Nina Faye, where are you?”
“Mom, look…here’s some pictures.” I hold out my phone to her. “See, my son got married yesterday! Bo is married now!”
Mama looks at the picture and says, “Good gracious!”
I long to connect with her. I start counting, “One, two, three…” I stop.
After a long pause Mama says, “Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine…” And something about that simple counting reassures me.
And I realize that a part of me believes that if I can just keep Mama responding to “our” things that I can somehow keep her with me. That if I just try hard enough I can keep the shadows away and somehow keep the sun from setting.
And I think of the wedding last night. The love and the tears, the dancing and feasting and laughing and joy. And I’m grateful there is a time to laugh and a time to embrace and a time to love.
And I know there is a time to weep and a time to mourn and a time to lose. And I know they are coming. But I can’t bear to think about it. So I trust my Heavenly Father to give me grace one day at a time.
And now Mama leans her head against my shoulder and grows quiet and falls asleep. And I’m thankful for a time of peace and a time to keep. And a time to treasure.