Monday, October 8, 2007

Things Happen

When I began to write the story of my mother's Alzheimer's disease, I faced a decision as to whether or not I should describe in detail the frustrating and upsetting events that occurred. As I dedicated my writing ability to the Lord, I found myself using my skills of description to reveal His participation in our lives rather than waxing eloquent over the exact timbre of my emotional state the first time I had to exit Wal-mart pushing a cart loaded with four packages of Depends. In this way I was able to honor my mother and yet share my heart's hurts and the solace the Lord provided.

All human beings spend a good part of each day in activities that do not need to be described in polite company! These human bodies of ours require quite a bit of maintenance, not to speak of an average of five trips to the bathroom a day! "Not to speak of," -- that's key!

Yes, I bathe my mom. This was traumatic at first, and I probably will never get over that little feeling of dread on bath day. But it's no big deal, really. We bathe our own bodies. We bathe our children. And sometimes the natural progression of life requires that we learn to bathe our parents.

Yes, I have to hide the hairbrush from my mom or she brushes her hair vigorously straight back from her face until she looks like Albert Einstein on a bad hair day. But did you really need to know that?

What I want you to know is that my mom is still my mom. She loves me. I love her. God is with us. And there is much that is beautiful in our lives. Following a visit with my mother, a good friend said, "I'm sure things happen. But she's still just 'Anna Ruth' to me and I love her."

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8 NIV

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