I've been struggling to cope with feelings of exhaustion, but in the midst of too little sleep and too much activity, an odd thing has happened. I've become more able to receive my mother's sweet expressions of gratitude toward me, and her constant affirmation that I am pretty.
I'm 55 years old, a little bit overweight, and when I head into my Mom's room to clean her bathroom or gather her laundry I'm rarely dressed to impress. Nevertheless, I am pretty to my mother, and she often tells me so. Over the years since Mom came to live with us, I've often had to hide irritation when she compliments me in this way. I've come to understand that this inability to receive her love and approval is grounded in grief. When Mom expresses love to me I am unable to keep an emotional distance from her, and I feel the sharp pain of impending loss. I can't cope for long with the terrible sorrow that bubbles up to the surface when my mother beams love in my direction; I'm losing her, what will I do without her?
But in the same way that my toddler grandson has no time for a hug unless he is tired or sad, my exhaustion this week has allowed me to be more open to the solace of Mom's loving words. Tonight I'm praying for the ability to receive my mother's loving words and to express love to her in return. I pray for the ability to enjoy Mom while she is here, and to trust the Lord for the time when she will no longer be with me.
I can't practice ahead of time for the sorrow of living in a world that does not have my mother in it. The Lord hasn't yet equipped me for that loss because that time has not come.
Lord help me to enjoy Mom today and to trust You for tomorrow.