Friday, June 23, 2017

Loved

Through the years but particularly the past six months I've blogged periodically about my mother, Margaret, whom a number of you know. Some of you have interacted with her as a senior and witnessed an intelligent, engaged woman whose faith issued in action well into her eighties. In recent years her Parkinson's Disease has become more of an issue, with her mobility and balance affected. In these past months the slow progress of dementia has become a freight train which we are scrambling to address. She never complains, but she is increasingly anxious in the afternoon and evening, evidence of Sundowners Syndrome.

My brother Eric is a constant support to Mom, taking care of so many practical aspects of her life. I've made a point of visiting more frequently, usually reading scripture, saying a prayer, and even wonkily warbling a hymn or two with her. We both want to affirm her personhood, her essence, even as her memory betrays her. And she continues to surprise us. In the past couple of visits she has asked how I feel in retirement and wondered when we leave on vacation. When I showed up with son Isaac and his family recently she was delighted. She was downright playful with her great-grandsons and beamed in a way we simply don't witness anymore.

The other day she got word that she would be visited by Dr. Paul Thistle, a medical missionary in Africa. Years ago Mom paid for a nurses residence to be built, at considerable cost. Paul has always been grateful for her support and visits when he's back in Canada.

Margaret Mundy is a person, loved by God, loved by her family and friends. Is she diminished by age and illness? Yes. But she continues to love us and teach us, in her own way.

Thoughts?

5 comments:

Judy McKnight said...

I am awed by the loving commitment you and Eric show in caring for your mother - she is blessed to have you both in her life - I wish it could be the same for all seniors in their sunset years.

David Mundy said...

We regularly second guess ourselves about decisions, yet in the end we are reasonably sure we have acted in her best interests and with respect. That's the best we can do, by the grace of God.

Frank said...

It's really ideal when caregiving brothers can sing from the same songsheet in the care of their mother, and in upholding efforts that demonstrate understanding and respect.

My brother and I are journeying together in a similar set of circumstances right now with our mother; trying to walk that fine line between safety and security of her person, and respect for her independence. All we can do is to continue loving one another as we continue that journey together.

David Mundy said...

Well said Frank. Care for a loved one should unite & deepen a relationship rather than divide.

Diane said...

Thank you for sharing this information about your mother. I think of her more than she would ever suspect, and always with much respect and admiration. As my father was diminished by dementia over the last years of his life, I took comfort in knowing that his life and memories were safely kept in God, and would be returned to him in those everlasting arms. And now, I no longer think of him in his diminished state, or even in his prime. I imagine him in the fullness of who he was meant to be before life's sharp edges wounded him, as we are wounded ourselves. As with your mother, my dad would have flashes of remembering sometimes, and I took those as promises speaking in this midst of so much loss. Let love abide.

Diane Strickland.