Modern Day Samaritan Woman
Normal/ Finding Mom / Finding Me / Spiritual Alzheimer’s?
It’s been awhile since I have had the chance to STOP, take a breather…THINK and then randomly just let my thoughts flow into what I call my Blog Space.
A lot has happened since I last blogged, quite coincidentally (maybe prophetically) about life’s twists and turns and how I manage them.
My life’s road took another turn and went steeply uphill. Huge boulders, relentlessly pressing in, holding me back, keeping me captive to a situation I didn't want to find myself in. I’m old enough to know I have to go through circumstances to get passed them, but there is a part of me that just wants to sit down on one of these Huge Boulders that I find in my way and just stay there. Sometimes it’s just too hard.
Our mom, who suffers from Alzheimer’s fell at home on the 15th of March 2015 and broke her hip. While in hospital, on the 21st of April 2015, before she had her hip replacement, she forgot why she was there and got up out of bed, fell again and then broke her femur of the other leg. She underwent two (2) operations and was discharged only to be rushed back to hospital with acute bladder infection and is currently still in hospital.
There!!! It’s all down and even as I read what I have written, it seems straight forward and manageable. Yet, it isn't. The past four weeks have felt like an uphill climb, passing huge boulders, that were blocking all pathways and hiding shortcuts. There has been this constant reshuffling of priorities and things to attend to. Guilt when I neglected my family and home and guilt when I was attending to family matters and not visiting with mom. Guilt when I was at work and neglecting both mom and family.
There have been times when I have felt that I am on this runaway train and I have no option but to ride it out. I want to shout “Stop”, “Let me out” but there is no one to hear me and so I just ride and climb, hoping that with every passing day there will be an end in sight. One of my favorite quotes is “This Too Shall Pass”, but this time I wonder whether this “nameless” emotion that fills the pit of my stomach “will pass”.
You see our Mom may still be here in body; but she is no longer here in mind. The pain and trauma of the past four weeks have taken their toll on her mind. Her beautiful faded blue eyes stare vacantly at us when she notices our presence, and we sadly realize she is looking at complete strangers. Her tone of voice is flat and the words she speaks are random gibberish. She is more interested in the strange people passing her hospital bed and stopping at her neighbors than in her own visitors. Very occasionally do we catch a brief glimpse of the mom we know.
Meanwhile our family huddles together drawing sweet comfort from one another, in the midst of our confusion. Precious family ties that provide the platform for stability when it seems that all is coming apart. These are the very people God chose to place in our lives, and yet its really only in moments of crises that we realize how truly valuable each person is.
I wonder whether this is temporary or permanent.
Can this really be it???
Is this our new normal?
How many new normal's will we have to face?
Can a life be interrupted so unceremoniously?
We have had our moments over the past few years of clarity and the making of beautiful memories but are they enough? Where is the Grace? How can God allow this to happen? And why? How can a person forgetting who they are or who their children are be a good thing? Am I destined to forget my own children sometime in the future? That thought alone horrifies me beyond words.
(Several years ago when I was facing yet another interruption in my life and asking God
“Why Me?” He answered very clearly and answered my question with a question of His own “Why Not You?” What makes you think you are different, better or even immune? Indeed Why not me?
This has often carried me through many family crises and no doubt through this recent one also.
While looking for the good in this, and yes I have to believe that there must be some good, some mercy, some lesson, something beneficial to us and to other people. Mom’s new normal will be dependence on other people for her very existence and movement. For an independent strong willed woman this will be a huge adjustment.
However, we know that Romans 8: 26 -28 says “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (The Message). Emphasis my own.
Finding Me – Do I perhaps suffer from Spiritual Alzheimer’s?
My mom’s condition has made me consider my own spiritual life and I wonder if I don’t sometimes have a Spiritual Alzheimer’s. I can write all kinds of wonderful things here but in truth and with all my busy-ness, while wading through the unknown waters of a second marriage with step children, my job, chores, meeting responsibilities, and the newest turn of events, I have simply not stopped to make time for that which matters the most to my soul.
- How many times has Jesus stood in front of me and how many times have I stared blankly, sightlessly into His beautiful eyes and missed his Heart for Me?
- How many times has He paused to comfort and guide me and how many times has this gone unnoticed by me?
- How many times has He spoken to me in that still small voice that I have brushed aside and ignored, choosing rather to hear the things spoken by the strangers / busy-ness/ chores and distractions into my life, rather than to hear Him Who has stopped beside me to keep me company?
- How many times have I spoken my prayers in monologue, merely mouthing the words with no real thought or purpose, often falling asleep in the middle of my prayers? Never waiting to hear a response.
- How many times has He purposely brought an interruption into my life in order to get my full attention?
What about you? Do you also have to face a new normal? How have you coped? Have you also struggled to juggle life with new circumstances? Are you like me barely treading water but trusting that “this too shall pass”.
The one thing I do know for absolute sure. Jesus is with us in this mess. He is with us in our confusion and in our worry. He is softly speaking to us through our circumstances and reminding us that we are not alone. Mom is not alone. He speaks to the mind and heart and if we (mom , family & I) allow Him,
Jesus will show us the way to get to the other side, intact and better, stronger and this “new normal” will fit just right.
*Hugs* till next time.