This is probably the hardest piece of writing I will ever have to write, and as you read on, you will see why I say this. But for whatever the reason, God’s Holy Spirit is compelling me to write it so here goes. Forgive my emotions running wild.
Mother’s day is fast approaching, and as I thought about it, my mind became flooded with the fondest of memories, from my present as well as my past. As I started thinking about Mom, and how things are, I welled up with tears, and I began crying.
You see Mom though still alive and with us bodily, and spiritually, Mom is not with us in mind, for Mom suffers from Alzheimers. Sad to say, she doesn’t remember my dad her husband, or any of her five loving children. She doesn’t even know what day she is in.
The woman that I know as Mom, the power-house of our family, the woman who gave me life, introduced me to God, taught me how to love music, cook, and write, made me take Scottish dancing lessons, yup I wore a Kilt and the whole works, the one person on earth who believed in me, is in appearance anyway but a shell of the woman she once was. BUT, she’s still my Mom and I love her.
It wasn’t so bad when this horrifying disease first crept into Mom, and into all our lives. She was still able to function, and although she would get our names confused, every so often, she still knew us all. She for sure knew me. I was her eldest and the trouble-maker in the family. I was the one who got all of my siblings blamed for things either I did or I instigated.
I was constantly being reminded about the Christmas, that my sister Brenda, (next in line), and myself discovered where Mom had hidden all 6 or 8 tins of Mom’s special Christmas cookies, and commenced to open each tin and eat our fill. Each tin had a different variety, from Ice-box cookies, to shortbreads, to Chocolate Macaroon. Um um, yummie, home made cookies by Mom.
Mom knew it was me, because Brenda wasn’t strong enough to get the lids off the tins, but I blamed her anyway, cuz mom saw only Brenda sitting in my parent’s bedroom eating the cookies. We were both guilty, but I lied, so no Christmas cookies for me that year, or so Mom thought.
Now in the nursing home where she is, I sit and visit with Mom, but instead of being with her, as her eldest son, she thinks that I am my uncle Frank who’s already dead, and we are teenagers back on the farm in Saskatchewan, doing chores like gathering eggs, or milking the cows. Still I cherish every second, regardless the pain of seeing Mom in this way, because I know that without her, not only would I not be born, I would not be the man I am today. My one prayer for her now is for Our Father in Heaven, to carry her back home to heaven and soon.
It really becomes painful when I try to chat with her, to see if she can remember some of the more fun, and funny experiences, that we shared together, like the time Mom and I were playing catch, near our campsite near Lake Louise in Alberta, this one summer when I was about 8. Mom threw the ball, but I missed it. It rolled off into some nearby bushes. I scampered after it, but as I neared it I saw this cute black pussycat with a white stripe down it’s back. She looks at me as though the light turned on and she could remember it, but then asks me who I am.
Well I thought it was a pussycat. I called to Mom to come see the pussy, and bent down to reach for both, the ball and the pussy. Big mistake! Wow! that pussy raised it’s tail and before I knew it, I’d been sprayed with some of the foulest smelling perfume, you could imagine. As Mom neared me, she started to smell the stench, and then yelled at me to stay, as she turned and ran away.
Being the daughter of a farmer from the praries, Mom was somehow always prepared for the worst case scenarios. She filled this metal vat that we had with about 8 or 10 cans of tomato juice, my favorite drink, then called to me, telling me to strip off all of my clothes and climb in that vat.
Even though I was a little embarrased about being naked like that, I didn’t argue and did what she told me. Mom’s the one person I’d never argue with or go against, and in those days I don’t know if it was out of fear, or respect, or love, because my Mom was the disciplinarian in our family. She would never use an open hand, but she always had this ruler of hers.
Then she told me to bathe myself and scrub hard with the tomato juice, tossing me a brand new bar of lye soap, while she picked up my clothes one by one with a stick, not wanting to handle them placing them into the campfire to burn them. She wasn’t going to bother to even try to wash them out.
Man that was the longest bath I ever had, as she made me sit in the tomato juice and scrub myself for over an hour. When I was just about cleaned up, Mom came over to me took hold of the bar of soap. She told me to close my eyes really tight, oh oh ! I knew what was coming, and Mom began scrubbing my hair, until I thought it was going to fall out.
The hardest part about a visit with Mom now is that since she can’t remember me or how I fit into her life, if and when I try to hug her, she shys away in fear, not recognizing me, and won’t let me touch her, let alone give her a hug. Even though I know it’s her fear and not rejection, on some level, or another I feel hurt more than if she hauled of and slapped me. That I could live with, but no hugs, uh uh Nope!
Seeing my mom this way unable to fully comprehend what is happening, not knowing if it were truly real or maybe just a dream, sort of makes me wonder about Mary the Mother of Jesus.
Here she is a young teenager, betrothed to some carpenter named Joseph, a virgin being asked by God if God’s Holy Spirit can artificially inseminate her, explaining that it is a boy child, who when he grows up will become The Messiah,The Christ, fore-told in the Hebrew Scriptures. Mary accepts it as reality and not a dream and agrees, in obedience to God to permit this to happen.
As I remind myself about Mary, I pause to realize, Hey I’m a lucky guy, because since Mary is the earthly birth mother of My Lord Jesus, and since I am a re-born Christian, with Jesus as my brother, gee I’ve got two Moms.
Suddenly I get a flash back to my Holy Bible and the Old Testament. Suddenly I realize I am truly blest, as I have not one, not two, but three women I can call Mother, as Eve is the mother to all mankind. Ooooops! Hey wait! that means I better buy three Mother’s Day Cards, and three dozens of perfect white roses. I’d better go to the bank and get more money.
Mom I know there is no computer available for you to read this in the nursing home, so I will print it off, bring it upt to you, with your roses, and read it for you on Mother’s Day. You can’t even remember how to read now, and I’m not sure even that you will even understand it when I read it for you, but this is for the best Mom in the whole world, and I love you.
Dave your son.