18 March 2012

My mama...

As I read Pom Pom's ponderings this morning about giving of oneself to others, it brought to mind my own mother. She lives far away in south Texas, while I live in northern Minnesota. I haven't been able to see her much in past years, but have made two trips in the last couple of years. A few years ago I noticed that my emails to her weren't being answered and when the answer finally came it was brief. Ordinarily her emails were full of news and excitement about what my kids were up to. I sensed something was wrong, but had no idea what the problem was. I'm not much of a phone visitor. I like emails because you have time to ponder and form thoughts before "speaking". So I continued to send emails now and then. After some time my step-dad, Glenn, wrote to me and began filling me in on what was happening. Mom was going through the beginning stages of dementia. This is a woman who has been my spiritual mentor for many years. Though she has been through her own spiritual ups and downs throughout life, in her later years she had become a strong prayer warrior and was steeped in the Word. She always had wise counsel when I needed it and always encouraged me in homeschooling my children and in everything I loved to do.

When I visited mom almost two years ago, she repeated the same questions frequently, but still seemed to know me. She still seemed like the mom I knew. Last May when my husband and I went back for a visit she was still a very cheerful and friendly person, but I think she saw us just as some nice visitors. It's a sad thing to see someone you love slipping away like this. She has given so much to me and others around her. She loved to write, and for a while put out a newsletter full of inspirational material. She also loved to paint and took watercolor classes at a local college for awhile.

Dementia is becoming such a common thing these days. I think this is because we are living so much longer. But the thing I want to keep in mind is that my mom is still there. I mean her "real self". Her eternal spirit. And she would want me and all those that love her to know that she still loves us. If this ever happens to me, I want my children to know that this condition is only temporary. When we arrive in Heaven we will once again know and love each other with a more perfect love than we can imagine here. God still has us safely in the palm of His hand no matter what satan may throw at us. And I do believe that dementia, as well as all sickness, comes from the enemy of God. (I have to believe that if Jesus healed EVERYONE who came to Him, then He isn't in the business of giving sickness.Sometimes our faith just isn't strong enough to receive that healing. And sometimes others need to pray for us when we're weak.) NOTHING can separate us from God's love if we belong to Him. We win in the end, praise God!

So, I will remember my mama as she was and pray for her protection each day. My step-dad is a hero, as far as I'm concerned, and is taking great care of her. He turns 82, I believe, next month! I trust him completely to make the difficult decisions ahead, and I hope he will also take care of himself and not try to do the impossible. Are you listening, Glenn? :)

I have some shelves in my bathroom which I've filled with things that I like to look at. The second shelf from the top contains things that my mom has made or sent to me over the years. It helps me to remember who she really is, and who she will be again...only better.
Some little decoupaged boxes.

A watercolor painting of a potato vine that grew in her yard.

Other cute knick-knacks she made.
(The little Korean plaque on the bottom shelf is a gift from my sons. It spells out love in Korean and they bought it on a trip to South Korea they took a couple of years ago.)

Just wanting to talk about my mom. I really feel that God doesn't put us into families just by chance. He doesn't give us these people to love only to separate us forever in Heaven. I think we will know and love each other there, and we can take comfort in that. My mom shared a scripture with me a few years back, and I think she shared it for such a time as this. Though she's still alive physically, I think a certain part of her has gone on ahead of her body and is safely with God. The scripture is this:

"The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart;
devout men are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil.
Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death." (Isaiah 57:1-2 NIV)

I find this very reassuring. Thanks, Mama!


  1. Oh, Lisa. Such wise thinking you share today. Right and true.
    Your love for your mama is deep and adoring. She reproduced herself in her dear daughter. What a beautiful feat of motherhood that is. I'm so thankful to know you, to hear you share your heart and to watch you continue to grow toward eternity. Your mother will go on ahead again.

    I colored the front of Pom Pom's Sketchbook today. I drew a toadstool hatted boy and made a little collage on page 2. So fun!
    Thank you for your kind words. Now that I don't have as much "free time" as I did before I started teaching, I find myself so aware of it and I'm trying to break free from guarding it too closely. We'll see!
    Saying a prayer for your mama. Who knows what gentle secrets the Shepherd is whispering to her today? (BIG HUG!)

    1. I love to think of Jesus whispering "gentle secrets" to my mom. Thanks for that mental picture, Pom!

      I would love to see what you've done in your sketchbook. Maybe you'll share on your blog sometime?

      A big hug to you, too!

  2. Watching parents age is no fun. It's a gradual letting go. Seeing my father age has really taken such a toll on me. But as you said, thank goodness this is not all there is.

  3. I am so sorry about your Mother; dementia is difficult and doubly so with your Mom being so far away.
    God bless you both.