Saturday, February 20, 2010

Even the Happy Parts are Sad

The title for this blog post came to mind this morning as I sat in my cold car waiting for my husband to attach the battery cables. I'd left my headlights on. Again.

Happy to have someone who will come and charge the battery when I call. Sad to have a mental block about turning off my lights.

Taking my mother to the beauty shop. Happy I don't have to wash and set her hair at home, sad for the stress that comes from my fear she will fall as I help her to the car.

It's lovely to have Mom's beautiful room addition on our home. Happy for the material blessing of added space and beauty, sad that my mom won't always be here to enjoy the blessing she made possible.

So much about caregiving is like this. Even the beautiful moments are bittersweet. If I allow myself to bask in my mother's love, grief is just behind the warmth of her regard. My eyes fill with tears. I am happy to have my mother still with me. I am sad to have her so dependent on me, and that she is in the process of leaving me.

Sometimes there is no happy outcome, regardless of the choice one makes. If I choose to withdraw emotionally from my mother, I will suffer grief of loss ahead of her actual death, and guilt after. If I do not withhold myself, I face the daily blows that fall on my heart as she acts out resentment toward me or expresses love for me by turns.

Sad to be at this point in my life where grief cannot be avoided, happy to remember that those who mourn will be comforted.

My mother and I are walking the valley of the shadow of her death, but the Lord is with us. There is no place to run but into His arms.

And I am happy about that.

Scripture: "Blessed and enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!" (Matthew 5:4 AMP)

"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you" (Matthew 5:4 The Message).

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5:4 ESV).


  1. Has always you write so wonderfully. I do miss taking mom to get her hair done. That was one of our regular things to do together. But have not thougt about it in a long time. Now the Aid washes moms hair and I cut it when it gets hard to handle. Thanks for bringing back a good memory.

  2. I love the way you wrote this...but it is oh, so bittersweet. So much of life in this world has happiness and sadness mixed together. Praise the Lord, in heaven we will say, "Happy for..." Period. The End. No sadness there!