Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker again and the host of bloggers who join her each Friday for the word prompt she provides and the word: GO
My mind jumped to a hundred different directions when I saw the word prompt: grateful. Really? My life is grateful. It is full and it is more and it is beyond expectations and when I practice that gratefulness, when I claim it and profess it, I am overwhelmed and know that I am loved by a God who is love.
Truth is, there’s something I’m not grateful for. This time of year it stares me square in the face as I scan the card aisle at the store. Another year buying a card for a mama who doesn’t know me or her other children. A card I will sign, “from your daughter” holding on to some hope those words will mean something.
I’ve read Ann Voskamp and practiced writing my gifts, those little things I take for granted that are true gifts like the palm trees swaying outside my window just now and the shade of blue on the cup I’m sipping my chai tea and the machine I’m tapping these words on. I have much, am grateful for much but I haven’t found grateful in dementia.
Mother’s Day phone calls use to be hearing mama’s smile in her voice, and the weariness from working with Postal Carriers food drive that is always Mother’s Day weekend. She found her joy in service, it was her joy and witness. I don’t remember the last time I spoke to mama on Mother’s Day but our last calls found her fumbling for words and abruptly ending the conversations with “thanks for calling”. No, I’m not grateful for the sneak attack that has robbed our family of a mother and grandmother. I’m not grateful for dementia.
But I am grateful for the before. The before years that were filled with conversations that held stories and laughter. Hour long monthly calls that kept this mama and daughter separated by a few thousand miles connected. That time is cherished more now in a bittersweet kind of way but make no mistake, I am grateful for that. For her love of art and people and God. More than anything her love of God that was evidenced in her service to others has marked not only my life but countless others.
I am grateful for mama. I am grateful for the grace God gives that somehow gets us through this time. The time I cannot thank him for. Not yet, maybe ever. For the good care she receives, for those who care for her, for a sister who is amazing and carries this heavy load with grace and love, for the legacy mama has given, the life of witness she has lived, for these I am grateful. These are lasting. These are true. These cannot be taken by disease. God’s grace covers it all.