Sunday, July 9, 2017

Losing, Loving, and Waiting for Departure

 My dear  Mom at a park near her house. She didn't me to take a picture but I told her I wanted a memory for when she was gone.

Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old. Proverbs 23:22

A sweet writing friend just lost her mother. I felt stunned hearing how quickly her mother passed, but rejoiced that she went peacefully. I know that day of losing my own mother looms, and I  wonder how long it will be until she joins Dad in heaven.

Mom is in the midst of deep grief from losing her partner and best friend of 58 years. Now my sisters and I have made the painful decision to get her a little efficiency at a senior care home not too far from my home. It wasn't our first choice, but there seemed to be no other good option, and even mother realized that this must happen and agreed to it. Mom can't live alone in her home in the country when winter comes, so she must say goodbye to her home too. My heart aches.

How the words in Proverbs which say, "do not despise your mother when she is old,"  cut me to the quick at times when I grew impatient with her slowness getting out the door, or repeating herself, or hearing her complaints. It must be easy to despise people when they are old or Solomon would not have written it. 

We all love babies, so innocent and sweet with their fresh skin and wonder at the world. But loving the ones that are vulnerable on the other side of the spectrum? In this culture we live in, youth are exalted but the old and grayheaded are easily despised. In other cultures it isn't like this. 

When I was younger  I thought I knew so much. I assumed old people didn't know a thing. I thought I would do better than my parents did when I had my own children.

One day I sat on the floor with my baby and played with him, attempting to stimulate his little brain for learning. I suddenly realized how woefully unprepared I was to be his mother, to raise and nurture him, teach him what he would need for life. But there was no manual to read to make myself ready.

Rather, I was in for a rude awakening. My own rebellious heart haunted me when I saw it in my children. Over time, my heart softened toward Mom and Dad and their imperfections.

They were just two hurting human beings who got together and decided to have a family. They were going to have a boy and a girl but did not get what they ordered and ended up with us three girls. I think Mom often felt overwhelmed, and when I had my three, I often felt overwhelmed too.

Our parents had wounds that carried over into their parenting of us. The wounds were passed down, and somehow, without ever wanting to, we passed them on to our children. 

It comes right down to the fall of mankind, and the sorrow we all inherited from Adam.

Parenting is the hardest job in the world, and no one really loves our kids the way we do. But one day they grow up and move away and the difficult process of separation must begin. 

From that day on we can't "go home" again. Once I married and moved away, I struggled with resentment.  Then one day I too found myself a parent and had a newsflash:   parenting was not easy, not at all.

All too soon my "chippies" (as we called them) left our nest, and I was only left with memories, just like Mom had memories of us girls and the things we did that made her crazy. We begged her to stop reminding us of our stupid mistakes.

She finally stopped reminding us now. Instead, she talks about having a recurrent dream of seeing my Dad looking for his mother in heaven. She  slows down more and more, mostly just resting in her chair for most of the day.

She longs to go and be with Dad. How can I blame her for that?

Now it feels like I parent her more than her parenting me. All the nights I  spent with her, I tucked her in, and kissed her on the head and told her I loved her.

As I walked out of her room I heard her say, "I love you too honey."

Parenting came full circle. 

I prayed for clear direction, and God provided a comfy private room at a nice place not far from me available. God made her willing to go, instead of demanding she would stay "right here" in her present home. Now I trust that God will continue to lead us.  Mom will finish tredding her own journey, and then meet Jesus (and my Dad) again on the other side.


  1. This is both beautiful and poignant, Megan. Sending love your way.

  2. Thank you Hana for your kind words. I know you have experienced what I am talking about. It isn't easy but God's grace is sufficient.

  3. Megan, I so identify with all you have said. Thank you for articulating so well. It is truly tough to become parents to our parents.
    God bless you in this process. I'll continue to pray for you and your family.

  4. Beautiful & know you are in His will as you tend to your Mom in her last season here. You are in my prayers ����

  5. Beautifully written, Megan! I can so identify with what you have said. I have been reading through old letters I've saved from when I was a new mother, written to my own mother, and I realized I'm older now than she was then. I have experienced not only being a mother but also a grandmother and understand what my parents went through so much more now.

    1. Connie,
      Isn't it amazing how fast the years fly by? I appreciate your commenting and stopping by to visit my blog.
      Blessings, Megan

  6. Thank you for writing about this common issue and the struggles that we all face. Beautifully done.

  7. Thanks Crystal for visiting my blog and your kind words.