A long time ago, when I first started my blog, I used it for more personal life than business life and as my business grew, it was primarily for my business. Now, I want to add in more personal with the hopes that my girls will look back on my blog posts through the years and be able read and process posts just like this one.
For those of you that know me well, you know I have a very strong faith in God. The God of the Bible. I believe He is completely sovereign in my life and the world….that means I 100% believe He is in complete control. That is easy to type and say when life is “going my way” or I am enjoying the blessings He has given me. However, when trials and sadness comes in life, we for some reason blame God. My family is going through a trial right now, and I do not blame God but my faith is being tested, and though it hurts, I can say God is in control. God asks us to be obedient through the trials, and when life just hurts and you struggle in life (as we all do)…I keep finding the peace and comfort that God is in control. He has never promised happiness, but He does promise hope. So let me share our story a little with you and I hope it can encourage you on your journey in life and with God.
For the last several years, my mom (she is 62 years old) has been slipping away from us. We could never put our finger on what was really going on, but it was obvious she just was not “healthy”. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor six years ago and had it removed. The surgery was successful in removing the tumor, however, the side effects from the surgery were almost “worst case scenario”. She was came out of surgery with left facial paralysis and we later learned poor short term memory. The last few years her health has just gotten worse and she has had some mysterious upper back pain….but we noticed we were losing her. She was no longer as connected to us kids or her grandkids. At first, honestly I was annoyed by this behavior, but looking back I can now see it was the onset of what we are now facing…..alzheimers.
The last six months have sadly been a slippery slope to the point now where she is being cared for in a memory care home…a nursery home. She is slipping away from us more everyday I fear. My wonderful and loving step dad, John, is such an example of love and loyalty…he had to make that very difficult decision to put her in this home…it was the right one, but not an easy one. His faith is deeply rooted in God. He leans on Him and speaks of “finishing the race strong”. So grateful for that man and for God bringing Him into our lives.
So for today my thoughts are of the feeling of guilt that I am struggling to understand….I am sure this will one of many feelings I will be struggling with on this journey.
My mom still recognizes me but the conversations are short and honestly fade away instantly. I will walk out the door and know she won’t even remember if I am there the next day….or maybe hour. Let me try to explain the guilt I feel. I want to see her and visit with her, but when I do, I hold back tears as I look at this beautiful yet frail, confused lady in front of me and I just want to leave/run away. I struggle seeing her like that. I struggle seeing her mind struggle to engage in conversation. She becomes emotional talking about her situation, and yet through that she will say with her broken slurred words….”I don’t know why God has me here, but maybe I can be a witness for Him”…”maybe He can still use me”. As her memory and personality slips away, her faith is remaining. She is clinging to God. What a wonderful example she is to our family. No matter what trial or circumstance…we have hope. She may be losing the battle of physical hope….but she has eternal hope…and peace.
The struggle is so real though. Have you all watched “The Notebook”? (what girl hasn’t!!!) There is a scene where the adult children and grandchildren come to visit their mom with dementia and the mother is completely oblivious to who they are and you can see the pain, awkwardness, and struggle in those adult children’s faces. They struggle to just be there. I remember watching that scene and kind of judging those adult children…..but you know what….I get it now. My mom still recognizes me, but the day is coming whenshe will not. I can feel that pain, awkwardness, struggle and heartbreak. Because like that movie, my mom was a vivacious, educated, hard working, independent woman. She was our rock, our example, our cheerleader, our disciplinarian….our mom. Those characteristics have all slipped away now, and its our turn to just love on her as she is now…..and I will.
I have included a photo I want to explain….my girls are both absolutely addicted to their little teddy bears….both are called “Snuggles” or “Snugs” for short in our house. Norah still sleeps with hers every night, and Noelle has hers by her side all day and night (except school hours). My mom bought Snuggles for Norah as a little baby and gave it to her then…and since then the attachment has only grown….when Noelle came along she found another one….and same thing, but I think Noelle is even more obsessed with hers than Norah was. 🙂 We have found more through the years and buy them since we thought they could be replacements if the originals got lost….but push come to shove….the girls know their original “snugs”. 😉 I was at the Hallmark store recently and saw another Snuggles there….10 years later and they still make this same little bear. So I got him and brought him home to the girls and said….”lets give Grandma this Snuggles as your gift to her”. They LOVED this idea. For the next several days they literally fought over who got to hold and hugs this specific Snuggles and who go to sleep with this Snuggles. Noelle said she wanted to give this new Snuggles lots of hugs to give to Grandma. You see the girls have not seen their Grandma since last June….and Norah is really struggling with “what is really wrong with Grandma that I can’t see her”. She will come up to me with tears and just cry. How do I explain all this to her? We have both cried together over the unknown. The pictures shows Norah’s Snuggles on the left, soon to be Grandma’s Snuggles in the middle and Noelle’s Snuggles on the right…..you can see the girls’ Snuggles have been quite loved! So that’s the story with this photo….and the little picture Norah made explains it all. She knows her Grandma loves her….even if she can not see her.
This is our trial. This is life. Full of sadness and tears. BUT….we have hope. My mom, my step dad, my siblings, my husband and I…..we know this hope. We are not enough. We are weak and become frail a little more each day. We have put our complete trust and hope in Jesus Christ. The God of the Bible and His promises. I know there will be many tears and frustrations on this journey as it continues….but hope is at the end of this dark tunnel. It’s called eternal life with God. We cling to Him as I know my mom is too.
Thank you for reading my story….we will gratefully accept all prayers.