Making the Most of the Time We Have

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Monday was my Dad’s birthday. His first one with Jesus. I miss him. And I miss Mom. And regrets and should-haves pelt my heart some days and tears well up and run over.

There are things I wish I’d done more of, or differently. But it helps to re-read this post and remember that I was trying. And it presses home the need to walk closely with Jesus.

I want to hear His gentle promptings. I can’t directly show love to Mom and Dad anymore, that “someday” has come and gone. But there will always be those around me that I can love. And I pray that I’m faithful…

January 2014

Sometimes you just need to sit still and hold your loved one’s hand and sing every song you can think of. That’s what I did today.

There was still cleaning I needed to do, but Dad was putting his groceries away and doing some other chores and Mom was getting agitated and feeling alone. So I hung up the phone where I was waiting on hold to confirm an appointment. And I thought about those little sayings that people tell the young mommies, like—the dust isn’t going anywhere, but the childhood is. And I thought… that’s true for our time with the elderly, too.

Looking back at our journey so far with Alzheimer’s, I wish I’d gone out on more mom-daughter dates while Mom could still get in and out of the car fairly easily and was okay not having Dad right there all the time. Because now that door is closed.

And I wish I’d called her more often, while she still knew how to talk on the phone. Because now she doesn’t know what a phone is or how to hold it or how to talk in it. That door is closed.

But I am thankful I made scrapbooks with Mom when I first saw her memory changing.  Her long-term memory was still excellent then. I’m so grateful we went through old family photos together and talked about her childhood. We got it in before that door closed.

So, looking to the future, I wonder what I will be thankful for, or regret, when the next door closes.  God reminds us, through Paul, “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” (Ephesians 5:16-17,NLT)

And I think, someday my mama won’t be able to sit next to me gently petting my arm and saying with surprise and laughter, “Oh, my goodness!” as I tell her stories of her own life.

And someday she may not be able to tap her fingers to the songs I sing and fill in some lyrics here and there and smile brightly at me. Someday she may not listen to me read the Bible and say, “I like that.”

Someday she may get no comfort from me sitting next to her while Dad is busy. But today she does.

And so I pray that I’ll be sensitive to God’s leading and promptings. And I pray that God will help me make the most of every opportunity and that I’ll understand what He wants me to do.

And today I will sit and hold Mama’s hand and sing every song I can think of. With a grateful heart.

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10 comments

  1. A great reminder to treat each day as a gift from God ❤️ I’m trying to cherish each day that my mom is still relatively well and we can have fun outings together. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you miss your parents. Looking forward to the day when we will be reunited with our loved ones for an eternity in our Saviours presence!! Xo

  2. This is most beautiful! It’s so easy to have regrets and I am certain that the “enemy” is ever present to accuse us of our failings, BUT our advocate constantly makes intercession for us and we can rest in knowing, that He takes our efforts and makes them better still, perfect even.
    What a good daughter you were to your parents! I’m sure that the Father took notice. May God continue to bless their memory and your confidence in knowing you did your best, and it was enough. Love all of your posts!

    1. Thank you so much, Ray Burow! Your comment really spoke to me and brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for taking the time to encourage me so beautifully! ~Cheryl

  3. Like you, there were many days I held my sweet Momma’s hand and we sang together-old hymns mostly, but also country/western and lots of kid’s songs she used to sing to all her grand and great grandchildren. Sometimes she could say the words, sometimes she’d move her feet ( she loved to dance with my sweet Daddy), sometimes she’d smile and try to mouth the words, and I would know her spirit was singing with me. Some days it still does. Precious, precious memories!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your journey-it really encourages me. God bless you with comfort and peace.

    1. Rhonda, music is so powerful, isn’t it?! We didn’t only sing hymns either. Two of our other favorites were “I love you a bushel and a peck” and “Oh, we ain’t got a barrel of money”.
      I’m grateful to hear my thoughts give you some encouragement. That blesses me so much to hear! God bless you, too! ~Cheryl

  4. This is beautiful. Thank you! I’m glad I’m blogging too because I oftentimes beat myself up over what else I should/could be doing. Time is ticking away and doors are closing or getting read to close in my mother’s world. This was a good reminder for me to make good use of time as we continue together on her journey with Alzheimer’s.

    1. Thank you, barefootlilylady! I encourage you to make time for blogging even as you make time for your mother. It really helped me process my emotions at the time. It was my therapy, in a sense. And now I love being able to relive the memories I wrote down, and even relearn the lessons that God was teaching me. God bless you and give you strength and grace! ~Cheryl

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