There will be a sweet by and by.
But meanwhile the bath and visit were pretty normal today. Mom hollered and yelled. I sprayed down a bunch of fruit flies off the mirror. I picked up food and Kleenexes scattered around Mom’s chair and sat and visited with her a bit. She said she wanted to see her Grandma.
“Which Grandma do you want to see?” I asked.
“I don’t even know how many Grandmas I have,” she answered.
“Do you know who I am?”
She looked at me blankly and said, “No.” I told her who I was.
I held up her baby doll. “Do you know who this is?”
“No…”she said. But then soon remembered and said, “Annabel. She’s Annabel.”
I drove to pick up some Culver’s for Mom and Dad. And I wondered, as I drove, why Mom remembered her doll’s name better than mine. And I wondered why life was so messy and if I was ever going to get rid of the fruit flies and I thought about how Mom continues to get more challenging and that there are things I don’t even want to write about.
And then I walked in Mom’s door with their supper. Mom was sitting next to Dad on the love seat, all clean and cozy in her red flannel nightgown. She had her feet up on the ottoman and a soft blanket over her legs. And Annabel was half in Mom’s lap and half in Dad’s lap.
Lawrence Welk was on the TV and a group was singing with harmony, “In the sweet by and by… …We shall meet on that beautiful shore… … And our spirits shall sorrow no more, not a sigh for the blessing of rest…”
Mom looked over at me blankly again and told Dad, “Someone’s here.” I brought them their food and Dad thanked me as they sat side by side, in the bright light of the room and the glow of Dad’s favorite show.
And as I went out the door I heard more of the song. ( I can’t remember exactly, so I’m looking up the words now…) ”There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar, for the Father waits over the way, to prepare us a dwelling place there…. In the sweet by and by….we shall meet on that beautiful shore; in the sweet by and by we shall meet on that beautiful shore…”
I stepped back into the cold night, but I smiled to myself and sighed with peace, comforted by the truth of our sweet by and by…
This was written in 2013. Now both my parents are with Jesus, and the promise of being together again someday is even more precious.