The sands of time are sinking . . .
“Mother, you’re in the hospital. You had a stroke. Remember?”
Slow nod, barely perceptible. Eyes closed, a cloud of silver hair on the pillow.
The dawn of heaven breaks . . .
And there she is, at the piano with me, black hair, bright eyes, big smile, cheery voice. The voice that her teacher told her could have gone into opera. “Happy happy me! Happy happy you! When I see someone who is happy, I feel happy too!” The voice that she decided to use for church and children.
I sit on the bench, swinging my legs, singing, clapping. “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. . . .”
Sleep now. There you are, spreading out the birthday tablecloth. Through the years I looked for but never found a tablecloth like that. Cottage cheese pancakes for breakfast, homemade chili for supper. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. So many gifts.
We came here in a breath, in a blink. And in another breath, another blink, I will be the one on the pillow, and my own children will say, “Mother, you’re in the hospital. Here, Mother, let me help you. Do you want just one more bite? No, you can’t do that, Mother. You need to rest now.”
The summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes.
You took me out to lunch when I was in high school. When I was the one who wasn’t speaking, except in monosyllables. You tried. Thank you.
And there you are, thrusting Stepping Heavenward into my hands. The book that brought me to my knees, not once, but all three times that I read it.
“Mother, would you like for me to read to you from the Bible?”
Eyes focus a little more. Slight smile. Small nod.
One psalm. Another. Another.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. . . . Be still and know that I am God.”
“I waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined unto me and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out the the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.”
“O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.”
“Mother, who are you putting your trust in?”
Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but dayspring is at hand.
Low voice, barely audible. “The Lord Jesus Christ.”
Thank you, Mother. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for pointing me to Jesus.
And glory . . . glory . . . dwelleth . . . in Immanuel’s land.
Go here to download your free Guide, How to Enjoy the Bible Again (when you’re ready) After Spiritual Abuse (without feeling guilty or getting triggered out of your mind). You’ll receive access to both print and audio versions of the Guide (audio read by me). I’m praying it will be helpful.
Thank you for this, Rebecca! Tears in my eyes as I read it… thank you.
Beautiful, Rebecca. What a testament of your love for your mom, hers for you, and God’s love for you both.
Thank you for your post Rebecca. As my Mom disappears more and more into dementia it’s difficult for me to remember all those special vignette moments. I’m so overwhelmed by exhaustion I forget all the times she patiently, lovingly, guided me with grace and example.
May this season of life with your mother be a blessing, as the Lord gives to you sweet memories and grace for the journey.
My niece is on a mission trip to Kenya, till March, where she has seen overwhelming poverty, injustice, and circumstances that are so heart-wrenching. But she has also seen, and experienced, the hand of God in many blessed ways. She just posted this poem on her blog recently that has been a blessing to me,…perhaps it will give you encouragement as well.
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For our of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.
Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932)
Love and Blessings,
Beautiful, Linda. I love this poem, and this poet. And I’ve seen it to be true! When I cared for my mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s I kept reminding myself about how I didn’t have to face tomorrow’s difficulties now, and when the time came for them, God’s grace would be sufficient. Wonderful reminder. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing your heart’s treasures with us! It has been long years since I have seen your precious Mom and Dad. I shall never forget their gracious hospitality years ago, when George and I, with all our children, visited them in East Lansing. There was a long table on the windowed porch for all the young’uns, while the Mamas and Papas enjoyed Ada Sue’s rich repast in the dining room. In the yard was something I had never seen before, nor since–a cherry tree laden with juicy cherries, ripe for the picking. (And we did.) Such grace they showed, when one of our own accidentally (I hope??) defaced their back porch screen door. “Though our outward man perish, our inward man is renewed day by day.”
really so true … life is a vapor … and my memories … they are so similar to yours …