Well, how is Mother’s Day in your house today? Here it has been focused on a sick boy who keeps spiking in his temperature and just doesn’t feel well. We’ve had a household fighting off strep and various gunk. Yuck. Motherhood, though, yes?
It has also been a day thinking about my Mom. These markers that come and go and seem to force us to pause and assess.
I’m not exactly sure how many years we are into this journey in Dementia, but it is somewhere around six or seven. This long progression of losing someone before your eyes. Watching the memory fade, and then the personality and the abilities. It is a wicked disease and leaves us in a limbo of both mourning and thankfulness for the moments when she is present.
There is no easy aspect. No quirky quote that sums up the journey. It is difficult, and it seems to be long. The presence and the voice and the moments when she says something that is “her” make the awareness of how much is missing all the more painful.
Still…she is present and there are moments. Like the other day when I called and spoke with her on the phone. I mentioned that I need to come visit soon and bring the kids and Steve. She responded, “Yes, yes. I will need to make a list.”
That is her. She always had her lists. Every morning I can picture her in her chair, looking out the large windows in the house where I grew up, clipboard or notebook in hand and making lists. Lists of people to call, lists of things to do, lists of lists.
These things bubble up sometimes. A moment of wit or a moment of personality that are stark against her inability to find words that make sense.
So, Mother’s Day is another marker. Another year of progression, hand-in-hand with the delightful growth of my own children. The mixture of joy and sorrow…that is life.
Rejoicing while holding the awareness of our broken state. Sometimes we simply have to set aside sorrow and rejoice and embrace the goodness around. Sometimes we have to weep for the brokenness even while surrounded by blessings. We have to give ourselves the room and the permission to do both, because there is healing in both tears and laughter.
Even as Moms. And Daughters. We have to embrace the blessings and the sorrows, because life is forever a mix of the two. We grow through the sorrow, and I think we appreciate the blessings more in light of the sorrow.
So, Happy Mother’s Day to those who are rejoicing in their children. Those who are surrounded by blessing and are strengthened and joyful. Relish that joy and praise with gusto! Happy Mother’s Day as well to those who mourn, to those who see more brokenness than joy at the moment. It is a moment. There will be a shift when joy will be stronger. Let the suffering strengthen us as well…and give us a deeper joy when the wonders reappear.