Someday, Not Today

Sometimes Mama says such profound things that I can hardly believe it. Especially since she has so little vocabulary left and her sentences are generally very short.

Today my daughter and I were discussing summer hopes and dreams and vacations. And logistics. Because Mama needs so much help transferring now, and many of us have strength and back limitations, we have become dependent on a few for moving Mama. And sometimes the strong backs are the ones who need the vacations.

So we were discussing these things and figuring out alternate schedules that might work, so Mama still got some moving and changes of scenery, and a chance to stretch her legs a bit.

Later Annie went over to Mama’s to feed her supper. And she came back and said, “Do you know what Grandma said, Mom? She said, ‘Someday, not today, things will be different.’

And Annie and my husband and I all looked at each other amazed. One, because this is a long sentence for Mama to say at this point. And two, because there is so much meaning in that sentence.”

Because someday things will be different. Someday, only God knows how soon, we won’t need to plan around Mama’s care to go on vacation. Someday we won’t need to go over every few hours to feed Mama and change her and move her. Someday we won’t hear her yelling anymore. Someday we won’t be counting out her pills or talking to the nurse or bathing her skin. Someday we won’t be brushing her hair or helping her brush her teeth as she yells and bites the brush.

Someday, not today, things will be different.

Someday I won’t be able to feel her baby soft skin. Someday I won’t be able to smooth back her silvery hair and look into her blue eyes. Someday I won’t be able to hold her arthritic hand and feel her close her fingers around mine. Someday I won’t get to snuggle next to her at nap time and feel her put her arm around me and pat my arm and back. Someday I won’t hear the comments she makes and be amazed.

Someday, not today, things will be different.

Annie finished feeding Mama supper tonight and was saying good-bye to Dad and Mom. Dad said, “Good-bye, Annie.”

But Mama started saying, “Hello! Hello!”

Which makes me think, that the moment we say good-bye to Mama on this earth, she will be saying “Hi!” to Jesus in Heaven! Mama knew Jesus and trusted in Him when her mind was strong, so she will be with Him for eternity. And there with Him her mind will be healthy and clear again.

And I can picture her greeting family and friends. I can see her hugging her own mama. I see her smiling and laughing again. And never in pain ever, ever again. And I know someday I will see her again. And I wonder what our first words to each other will be.

Someday, not today, things will be different.

So today I will treasure up the sweet moments…the shared meals, the hand holding, the cuddling, the singing, and the words Mama says. Today I will hug Mama close and know that she is here and I am blessed to care for her and love her. Today I will kiss her wrinkled cheek and tell her that I love her.

And with God’s help I will serve faithfully on this holy ground He has given me as my mission now.

And I will remember…someday, not today, things will be different.

 

 

 

What to do When the Shouting Hurts

Mama hollers so much these days. Loudly and sometimes for hours. We try to make sure all her needs are met, but we often can’t figure out what is upsetting her. She shouts so loudly that it hurts our ears and we marvel that her voice doesn’t wear out. There is little we can do. But one thing helps more consistantly than others…

I sit by Mama. She props both her legs up over one of mine, so it feels like she’s half sitting in my lap. She rubs and pats my arm as we chat. I name her siblings with pauses between each one and she says, “Yes, that’s right.” And, “Go ahead.” I count to two and she takes over and counts to ten herself.

I tell her things about her family and her childhood and she nods and says things like, “That sounds right.” And then I sing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” And Mama sits quietly listening to the whole thing until I’m done. And then she says with enthusiasm, “Good!”

And her praise warms my heart.

And it all makes me think how the world is hurting my ears and my heart right now. There is so much shouting. There is so much anger.  It doesn’t seem to end. I wish I knew how to calm it all down.

I open up an old hymnal and I look at the words of the hymn I sang Mama…

“What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in Prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful, Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness, take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Saviour still our refuge—take it to the Lord in prayer. Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer; In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Thou wilt find a solace there.” (Joseph Scriven, 1819-1886 and Charles Converse, 1832-1918)

And the hymn of our fathers calls me to my knees. It reminds me that there have always been sins and griefs and sorrows and cares. There has always been despising and forsaking. And that thankfully we have always had prayer.

We have a precious Savior. He is still our refuge. He is always our solace.

And He is always good.

I can sit close to my Abba Father. I can know His strong arms are around me. I can pour out my heart to my Jesus, my faithful friend.I can share His love with others. And when the shouting gets too loud, I can keep my hand in His and just keep singing, “What a friend we have in Jesus…”