Archive for September, 2010

A Caregiver’s Walk—Monday Musings

“Wouldn’t you like to live your last days somewhere that you could sit on the porch in the evenings and watch fireflies, and listen to the birds?” I asked my 90-year-old mama as she sat hunched over in her aging lift-chair.

“I think I’d like to live my last days right here.” She patted the forest-green chair with great affection.

I looked around. Crowded into that space was a lifetime of memories all compacted into her asparagus-colored, 11 by 15 foot room. She doesn’t venture out of it much. She takes 2 one-block walks almost everyday. We eat 3 or 4 dinner meals weekly in the dining room. Occasionally, we talk her into watching a Tampa Bay Rays game with us on TV. She attends church sporadically, Bible study often, and her weekly hair appointment without fail, unless of course,there is a nuclear explosion. (Which is what it would take to undo her hairspray-sodden style and cut.)

Unless that same nuclear explosion hits us, we are moving. Near a town in North Carolina that boasts of the childhood of Andy Griffith. It’s name is Mt. Airy, AKA Mayberry. We’ve inherited property there and during the winter, you can see Pilot Mountain. It’s beautiful.

We will be farmers. It doesn’t matter that for the longest time I thought that olives grew with the red things in them. It’s not important that when I purchase a houseplant, my husband whispers to said plant, “You’re coming home to die.” That’s beside the point. We are going. We believe God is moving us. And, we will need all the help He can give us—which I know is infinite.

But then, there is Mom. She wants to remain in her green chair, reading Christian fiction. Going to her hairdresser of 20 years. I don’t blame her. Change is difficult for anyone, but especially for someone who is pushing 100.

Change can be hard, but it can be good, and it’s necessary. Our kids can’t stay home forever, so they leave. (Unlike the Holiday Express son—no thanks.) We grow older, but hopefully, wiser. People move away—we make new friends. Our hopes are not in our green rooms, or aging lift-chair, or our best friends. Our hope isn’t even in sitting on the porch watching fireflies. Our hope is in the Lord.

He made the wood to build Mom’s chair. He made the fireflies to light up a country sky. He made us for His glory. One day we will meet Him, and our material eyes will fall away. We will see through the glass clearly and not, as C. S. Lewis states, through the Shadowland.

I’m hoping to get a better glimpse of Him in the country. I think Mom will love it. And we’ll be sure to bring her green chair.