Proverbs 13:12 (NIV) – “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”Those who know me know that I work hard to model my life after the (Holy) Scriptures. Those who don’t know me, if you follow my posts long enough, you’ll soon learn that about me <smile> Today’s post is centered on my opening words from the Bible.
I’ve fretted over the past few months every time I visit with mom. For over six months now, we’ve had the same conversation. This past week was no different. As I walked into her room, there was evidence once again that she was hoping to go home. Family portraits were stacked neatly on her dresser top. Clothing was stacked in a pile on her bed. She had removed from her walls the precious pictures made by budding artists, aka her great-grandchildren.She was at dinner when I entered her room. My countenance fell as I was struck once again by the reality that mom wanted to go home, and I had to be the bad-guy who would once again tell her that ‘this is your new home’ (at the Nursing Home). Silently, I played the script in my head. Mom starts with, “I’m so glad I’m going home today.” Me, with great caution, “No, you are already home.” Joan (mom) shouts, “what? I don’t want to live here, why can’t I go home?” Me (Cindy) gently, “Because it isn’t safe for you there anymore.” Joan groaning defensively, “But, I can walk, I can talk, I can do everything by myself.” Cindy sadly, “I know you can and I’m so proud of you!”
Often over the past few weeks, I’ve wondered why this conversation wounds me so. Then it stuck me. Even with Alzheimer’s, there’s a hope deep within Mother’s spirit that she will once again be able to do the things she once did - that she will gather around our home table for a meal, at which she will be normal and whole again.I can’t fulfill the longing of her heart. I feel so helpless. But, we serve a God who knows our needs, both mine and Joan’s. He cares for us like no earthly being can. He gives us ideas to help those we love, even when we are hopeless.
In my next post, I’ll share the idea I’ve stumbled upon. It’s not “home”, but it’s a chance for mom to feel somewhat normal and keep all of us from drowning in “hope deferred.” Stay tuned…