21 February, 2010

Of gardens and dementia..........

It's Josh, Jacob and myself home alone this morning. I'm not going to even pretend to be sad about that. Don't get me wrong, i love going to church and i LOVE the people and the fellowship, but there's something special about a quiet Sunday morning at home. I have a good meal in the works, and while i was peeling the potatoes for some luscious mashed potatoes, i was also writing several blog posts in my mind. Dangerous stuff, i tell you. One of the things i was thinking about, since i was working with food, was how i want to live as much as possible from our garden and away from the grocery store this summer. I love big plans and dreams, especially when i can do nothing about those dreams right now. I have never planted potatoes before, but that's no reason to not try. I want lots of green beans, onions, carrots, corn, and LOTS and LOTS of tomatoes. Did i mention lots of tomatoes? Marlin has already promised his help to can them, and no good woman would turn that offer down. Well, unless that woman isn't his wife and then she wouldn't be a good woman, would she. She would be something else....but this is a christian blog and i am a christian woman with christian readers, unless someone wants to can tomatoes with my man and then the whole picture changes. Now that we got that cleared up, back to my dreams and plans. As i was saying, I have great plans for this summer. Lots of hard back breaking work and lots of hard working children. Their life of leisure is almost over and the joy of fighting Adam's curse is almost here. Before you pity them, i'll make it worth their while, with lots of water fights and homemade ice cream. Speaking of ice cream, Lord willing we'll have access to fresh raw cream to make lots of raw butter and lots of homemade, creamy ice cream. Shiver me timbers, makes me wish it was summer right now. Almost.

To continue with my thread about food, wanna know what we're having for dessert today? Upside down pineapple cake, baked in a cast iron pan, and looking like a picture. Why is it, when i make something fancy for fellowship meal at church, i don't get to take it. Oh well, i enjoy a pretty cake as much as anyone else and i certainly enjoy eating it as much as anyone else.

So much for food, lets discuss movies. Last night Marlin and i watched "A Vow To Cherish," a movie about a family who's wife and mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and their journey through that, based on a true story. It was good and i cried, although like any movie, it doesn't do justice to the agony and pain of someone actually walking through it. But there was something the husband of the wife said that was so, so true and so incredibly profound that i found myself nodding and audibly agreeing. I don't remember exactly how he put it, but the basic meaning was that when he stopped looking at taking care of his wife as a chore, but instead as an honor, his whole perspective changed. God has done that beautiful work in my heart in the last several weeks and i can't begin to tell you what a difference that has made in my relationship with my mother. I came to Marlin the other week with a question that kept bugging me and that same question surfaced on the movie. When the person you're taking care of no longer knows who you are, does that mean you are no longer responsible to take care of them? Does that mean i can release myself from responsibility? Marlin said no and i agreed, and that's exactly how the movie portrayed it. They put it beautifully, after all, a nursing home won't know how my mom likes her coffee, they won't know that she LOVES dogs, and they won't know how important it is for her to hear someone say, "i love you." Last Monday, my mother spent the day here and we had a great time before lunch and she even "helped" wash dishes. We discussed the joys of heaven and how she can't wait to see her mother again. It was so healing and precious and it felt good. Afterwards we laid down for naps and when she woke up, she was a different person. I met her in the hallway with Emily at her side and i knew instantly she had no idea who i was, who's house she was at, and why she was with strangers. I took her to the kitchen and she kept making these wounded, panicked sounds, and i knew i had to lay down my grief and stifle the tears that wanted to run. I told her i was going to make coffee and her face lit up for a second, and then went blank. I asked her if she knew who i was and her eyes looked blank and when i told her it still didn't sink in, but when i pointed at Emily and asked her who it was, you know what she said? "Darla." She was back in the past and the little brown haired girl in front of her was hers. I laughed and said no, it's Emily, and she repeated it after me. I sat down with her and we drank coffee together, (she was always a big coffee drinker) and gradually she came back.
God is teaching me so many things through this and while it has been so incredibly painful and many, many times i've begged Him to release me from what He's asking, He is using it to teach me what grace is, what love is, and even more than that, what honor is. I am honored that He trusts me with my mother, and the amazing thing is, i am slowly losing my fear of it someday happening to me. No matter what tricks my mind does to me in the future, (or present, ha!)my God loves me, is crazy about me, and will never, never leave me, but will walk by my side, even if i forget who He is. How big is my God!!!

1 comment:

  1. Keep looking up, Darla! I'm sure it must be so hard to relate to your mother with this disease. I have watched 'A vow to cherish' and I along with you was so touched by it. It definetly is a choice to keep loving and caring for someone like that. Praying for you as you meet your mother's needs in this difficult time. Your friend, Jewel


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