Should I buy a card? Should I send flowers? I ask myself this each year. As my Mother’s Alzheimer’s has continued to take over the person I once knew as my Mom, do I keep the rituals alive? After all she won’t know Sunday is any different than any other day. She will be 92 at the end of this month. Frail, thin, teeth pretty much gone, she still has beautiful blue eyes and isn’t all gray.
Growing up I remember many stories from my Dad regarding miracles and the existence of God. He was a neurosurgeon and told me more than once of his proof of God’s work through him and around him. It was powerful to hear such things. He always said grace at the Sunday table, funny we still use his closing “Bless this food to our use and us to thy service – Dig in”. But the spiritual heart of our home was my Mom.
We were a church going family. My Mom was the head of every committee you could think of in our church. Chairing everything from decorating to fundraising, she had it going on. Despite the fact we all would start the “I’m sick” routine 2 hours before the 11 service, we went. We were the family that arrived 10 minutes late, a gang of disgruntled children following her like ducklings as we went to the balcony. Oh she was proud that her will prevailed despite our attempts of disruption from discreet spit wads flying into the congregation, to my brothers’ pressing the bass pedal of the spare organ in the balcony, adding a nice underlying hum intermittently throughout the service. Somehow through all that she instilled a love of God and Christ in us.
She really lived what she said. My Mom was not a hypocrite. She loved and revered God as the driving force in her life. Once early in her disease when she would lapse into a world we don’t understand, she looked at me and said “the only thing that matters in this world is God. He’s beautiful.” When I reflect on that I think, that is what is at her core. That is the message that comes out when her mind is going? Are you kidding me? That woman had a real relationship with the living God like I’ve not seen so intimately in any other. Never complaining she set the example of a faithful servant who does for those who cannot. She is absolutely the reason I have the relationship I do today.
Sunday is the day that we remember our Moms. I have been remembering her for quite some time now. The form I see is just a shell of what was. Ativan makes her comfortable and smiling but the essence of my Mother’s spirit isn’t easily detectable, if at all anymore. I’m heavy hearted about her condition and this undignified way of life at the end. Then I remind myself that “He is beautiful” and I know she’s experiencing love and grace somewhere in God’s Kingdom. So, this year I’ll send a card and I’ll sign it as I always do… Happy Mother’s Day! I really miss you Mom, Love Always.