It seems like it’s all about preparing these days. My brothers are helping me prepare a spare room at Dad’s house for Mama. Hospice will provide a hospital bed, but we need a place for it.
We’re going to paint the walls with a fresh coat. And replace the old, stained carpeting. And hang some pretty pictures and photos and curtains.
We’re going to change the room she once prepared for her oldest son, and later redid for her two younger sons, into a place for her to rest and get care.
But I can still picture Mama bending over the crib in that very room, delighting in my baby brother with his chubby cheeks and big blue eyes and blond curls. I can still smell the Johnson’s Baby Powder she used when she changed diapers in that room. I can still picture her beautiful, bright smile. I can still hear her laugh.
And now Mama sits most of the day. And I show her pictures of her darling great-granddaughter and she doesn’t respond. And I try to tell her that my other son and his wife will have a baby any day now and that she’s about to be a great-grandma again. But she doesn’t seem able to share in my joy. She just stares at me.
And I think of my son and his wife as they prepare their spare room for their baby and assemble the crib they will need. And meanwhile we take old pictures off the wall at Mama’s house and fill in the nail holes and think of the memories that fill the place as we plan the best place for the hospital bed.
And I drive to the pharmacy to pick up a “comfort kit” hospice ordered for Mama. We’re supposed to keep it in a closet. It has medicines we might need some day. To give her comfort. As she dies. And I pray we won’t need it for a long, long time. And I hope that hospice kicks Mama out of the program because she’s getting better.
As I’m leaving the pharmacy I see a McDonalds. And I think of all the times Mama brought me to the doctor and then stopped at McDonalds and got me a treat for the drive home. And I look at the bag of medicines in the seat next to me, and I pull up into the drive thru and buy lunch. And I sit in the parking lot eating it and thinking of Mama and blinking back tears.
We’re getting prepared. It’s a season of preparation right now.
And thankfully Mama’s heart is prepared. Because I know she believed in Jesus and asked Him in her heart. I know she sought to follow Him. And so I know He is preparing a place for Mama.
And someday He will take her to see the beautiful home He has prepared for her. And her mind and body will be strong again. I can see her eyes sparkling. I can hear her laugh. I can picture her hugging her own mama again. I can imagine her grand-mothering two babies I miscarried years ago–or maybe meeting them all grown up now.
I can see her walking on those streets of gold with her own dear brothers and sister and friends that have gone Home before her.
But meanwhile I look at paint samples. I pick out a warm yellow. And I think it hints of sunnier days and of a golden time to come.
sad, so sad. the warm yellow is a beautiful, inspired choice. our mom lived 8 yrs from official diagnosis to passing, soundlessly, in her own bed while she slept, a caregiver at her side, which is what she wanted. but there were moments in the months leading up to her passing where she grabbed my hands and told me she wanted to get out of here, she wanted to go home. which struck me as so so sad, because our family did everything we could to keep her in her own home, and yet…she begged me to get her out of there. i told her yes, yes, I understood, she wanted to go home, and we would help her get home, but to have patience. and then her ability to speak diminished altogether, and her eyes were glossed over, and she drifted further and further away, completely non-responsive, and she passed away. on the birthday of our brother who had passed away from leukemia. of course we like to think he came to her during the night, and took her with him.
Oh, that brings tears to my eyes, Ellen. Maybe he did. May God comfort you.
You inspire me in your steadfast love and ministry to your mom. Prayers for you during this difficult transition time.
Thank you so much, Linda!
Hi I am from India, and it is purely His grace that I am introduced into your blog. Now I follow and try and reach each of your post.
Heart touching, overflowing with emotions, lessons in hope and faith is what I can describe about your writing.
Some one rightly said ” If He brings you to it; He will bring you through it.”
May you and your Mom and your family be eternally blessed.
Thank you for your beautiful comments, Ashish. I’m so blessed to hear that what I’m sharing is blessing you. Thank you for letting me know!
I received your latest blog entry on facebook and so appreciated it. My parents are gone to heaven, but my dad had dimensia but didn’t live long enough to become severe. Your comments are so insightful. Thank you for sharing. I too have been lead to start and share a blog. If care to check it out, below is link. God bless, Don McDaniel
I’m sorry for your loss, Don. Writing has been a true blessing for me, I hope it is for you as well! ~Cheryl
Praise God for the golden, sunny time to come. My wife is in the early to mid stages of Alzheimer’s and I pray for science to come up with either a cure, or at least something to halt the progress of the disease. Knowing what the Lord has waiting for us sustains both of us.
Thank you so much for your posts, Cheryl.
I’m sorry for what you and your wife are going through, Ken, but thankful to hear you have sustaining faith. And God is faithful and gives grace for the journey. What would we do without the golden sunny time to go? So grateful we have that certain hope. May God bless and strengthen you, Ken.