Grace For The Journey

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28


Author's note: I wrote this 4 years ago. It came up 'On This Day' on my Facebook feed. I miss my mother but I'm happy she's out of pain. Reading this reminded me of the hundred of little glimpses I shared with mom during her last 5 years. I'm glad I read this. Those of you who now have the heavy burden of being caretakers to a loved one with Alzhiemers - God will give you moments that you will treasure always in the middle of what may seem difficult.
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I’ve worn many different hats in my life. Some fit me to a "T," and some - mmmm - not so much. At this stage of my life, I’m comfortable being Anthony’s wife; Laura, Mikey, Tony and B’s “Mama”; and Grammy to all the grands and their friends.

The one hat I’ve never worn well was daughter. I’ve struggled most of my life feeling like I didn’t fit (a topic for another time). But the last 10 years I’ve stepped into that Daughter role and God has allowed me glimpses of my parents which neither of my siblings shared.

I was able to care for my father the last few days of his life. After his death, I prayed "Dear Lord, please don’t make me go through this again." That prayer wasn’t answered. I find myself back in the caretaker role and having to wear the Daughter/Caretaker hat again.

God is giving me the chance to love and care for my mother and. although she lives in a Skilled Nursing Facility, my fingers are in every aspect of her life. Unfortunately, her health is not the best and she is not going to get better.

This morning I reached out to a friend. I poured out my fears and pain, asking her to pray for me. She put my prayer request out there immediately and I’ve been covered in prayer all day. The doctors appointment I was dreading went smoothly with just my eyes tearing up. No blubbering! Chocolate, Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt, and a few texts from my Pastor's wife took away the lingering sense of sadness.

The Lord gave me a gift today. While we were in the waiting room my mother turned to me, eyes clear, and said, “You are always here when I need you. Thank you” I looked at her, holding back my tears and said, “I love you, Mom, and you can’t get rid of me even if you try.” She smiled. We talked about nothing important but she was there, even though it was only for a moment. For the life of me, I can’t remember what we talked about - only that we did; then she was gone. I held her hand as she started singing a little tune, I closed my eyes and prayed “Thank you”.

I know many of you are in the middle of the same thing. Nothing I can say will lessen the pain and grief you feel. I understand. Hang in there and hold tight to the Lord. He promises to be there with you!

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you."  Isaiah 43:2

by Eve Montano