This week I held my six month old granddaughter while my son offered her a spoon of her very first taste of solid food. She reacted with eagerness and grabbed hold of the spoon and all around the table her relatives delighted in her. And we laughed and smiled and took such joy in her first tastes of applesauce.
And then this afternoon, I sat close to my mama. And I offered her spoons of food because she doesn’t try to feed herself anymore. And Mama opened her mouth each time and she chewed the food as she stared blankly at me. And my heart was heavy.
I tried talking to Mama, but she didn’t respond. I tried singing to Mama, but she didn’t seem interested. I told her I loved her many times. And she didn’t reply. And no matter what I did I couldn’t get her to smile.
And Mama shouted, “I hate you!”
And I answered, “Well, I love you.”
But Mama did reach out and pluck at my blouse. And she rubbed her fingers gently on my arm, as she usually does when I feed her. And that is about as connected as we get lately. So I savor those sweet touches.
But I long for her smile. And I wonder if I’ll ever hear her say my name or “I love you, too” on this earth again. And my heart crumbles.
And I’m reminded of the Bible verse I read last week, Psalm 35:14b (NKJV), “…I bowed down heavily, as one who mourns for his mother.” And I take comfort in the thought that King David and God know that there is a special kind of mourning for one’s mother.
It bows you down. It’s heavy. It’s hard.
I remind myself often that the end of the story is good. Because Mama knew Jesus when her mind was healthy and trusted Him with her life. And so I have the certain hope that I will see Mama restored when we meet again in Heaven. And her smile will be more beautiful than ever. And she will know me and say my name and hug me close.
And we’ll never be bowed down heavy again.
And until then, I can look for the blessing moments. I can treasure the tender touches Mama gives me. I can thank God for the loving care givers Mama has and for my son and daughter who are so helpful to their grandparents.
Until then I can hide under the shelter of my Abba Father’s wings and pour out my heart to Him and know the comfort that only He gives.
Until then I can marvel over my beautiful granddaughter and enjoy every first with her.
Until then I can trust that God will give us grace for each day. And I can know that He is faithful and that His tender mercies surround us.