Birthday Thoughts

Life has strange twists and turns, doesn't it? As I continue to care for my mom I see so much how the roles are now reversed. Since she became so ill in the past few months my duties have increased and things she formerly refused to allow me to help with she is now glad to be assisted in doing.

As I write this, I am thinking of one year ago which was the first time she became so very ill. It was my birthday and dad and I had her to the OT/PT for therapy that day. She went to keep her strong and hopefully improve her breathing.

Her vital signs were very poor and I honestly thought she would not live through the day, but in spite of it we went to breakfast after and then ahead to the mall to get some clothes for her that fit. I cannot believe I did that with her... she was in the hospital by that weekend and not expected to live. I had the waitress in the restaurant take our picture (above left) because I really thought it was the end. That is the picture you see above. By God's grace, she lived and came home and we had another Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Spring, Summer and Fall. And now we are at my birthday again. In a few hours my family will gather to wish me well and I find I am once again thinking this will be the last one I have with her on this earth.

This is strange...I want her to go and I want her to stay. I want her to always be my "mommy." I want her suffering to end. I want to enjoy the time I have with her and I am constantly pointing her toward Him and what joys and beauty await her in heaven.

Today as I was at their house, I was thinking about the Red Velvet Cake with the special frosting (from scratch!) she made me for my birthday every time I asked for it. I was thinking how much I wish she could do that just once more. Today, it was me cleaning their house for my birthday party, not mom. was I who bathed her- when 46 years ago she bathed me... Today I helped her pick out her clothes and dress, and I helped her put her socks on. Today I met her physical needs for comfort and care, encouraged her, cheered her on and loved her. It is all so backwards...

As I do these things I think of Christ. How could I not? He washed the feet of the disciples as an example of how we are to love one another and serve on another. He said that if we do these things for the least among us we are doing them for Him and I cannot think of a more helpless person (besides a baby) than a sick and elderly person who loses the ability to do things for themselves.

My heart wrenches within me, my muscles are tight, my chest heaves with torrents of unshed tears for the ache of this and what is to come. The pulling away from this earth and body is so very hard.

For today I will rejoice that God by His marvelous, wonderful, abundant grace has given us this day to celebrate. I am so very thankful to Him for that, it is a blessing beyond words.

The picture on the right is me and my wonderful mom- October 25, 2008 - One year later by God's grace. To Him be all glory and honor and praise for ever and ever, Amen.