My wife and I recently made a trip to visit my parents in Colorado. We went because it was beyond time for me to go see my mother, and I had put it off for far too long. My mother is currently suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease, which has essentially stolen my mother from those who love her the most. Needless to say, I was very much hesitant to go.
What can someone say when they look into their mother’s eyes and see endless confusion and fear? Those are the moments that leave you silenced by a lack of anything meaningful to say. There simply are no words that can adequately describe that anguish.
The day we arrived, my stepdad drove my mother out to us, and took us to dinner. This was one of the points where the trip came into focus. I was not there just to see my mother, I was also there to see my stepdad and let him know that he is not suffering alone. It was the first time we had spoken in this manner, and it made me realize that I had been deeply unfair to him for many years.
Over the course of the next few days, we spent a great deal of time with them. We also got a much needed break from our kids, and even got to enjoy a mini-honeymoon (we didn’t get to have a real one). Overall, it was a good trip. We even got to have dinner with my sister and brother-in-law, and left with some of my childhood pictures, which we plan on having scanned and stored.
Earlier this week, I took a call from my sister. I was at work, but it was so unusual for her to call me during the day that I had to answer. She had called to tell me that our mother is dying, and that she is not expected to make it through the week. Her condition is deteriorating so rapidly, no one can do anything about it.
I am faced with the very real prospect of flying out to sit with my mother as she leaves this world, and it is tearing me apart. No matter how many times I remind myself that she is going to be with the Lord, and that her mind will be clear and sharp, it does not seem to dull the ache. I guess it not meant to.
I want you folks to do one simple thing. If you are still able to do so, give your mothers a big hug, and thank them for giving you life. Do not allow such an opportunity to pass you by. You never know when you will have the chance to do it again, if you do in fact get a chance. In so doing, you will create a few moments of true beauty.