Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What We Remember

M75_2 I was so blessed this past weekend to be able to spend some real time with my mother-in-law.

She has been stricken with Alzheimer's, as I've written before, and for years now we've watched her silently slip away from us and the happenings of everyday life. She is getting quieter now, and is largely confined to her bed or chair since moving is so very difficult for her.

But she still always has a smile, even if she doesn't remember you, and is ready with a laugh that is as sweet as the sound of bells. She listens intently at times and thoughts form that only halfway make it to her tongue.

It makes me sad when I think that my children, who are the very youngest of the grandchildren (there are great-grandchildren who are older than they are) will never know their grandmother in the way that their older cousins did. No sleepovers or camping with Grandpa & Grandma. No memories of Grandma making something special for them, being in the kitchen with her, just spending the day and talking with her.

But I remember her. And count myself so fortunate. So loving. So giving. So accepting. And just like now, always ready with a smile and a laugh and a hug.

The sweetest part of the weekend with her was hearing her sing. She rarely talks; a word or two, maybe half of a sentence will form and trail off, but she can sing. Amazing Grace was sung at the funeral we attended on Friday, and she sang the first verse along with the soloist. We, sisters- and brothers-in-law standing around her, all looked at each other and at her. And smiled wonderful smiles. We were all to sing the last verse together, so I kneeled down beside her and sang with her. She watched me, and sang and smiled that sweet smile. And we praised Jesus that we can sing.

Thank you LORD for this priceless woman. Thank you for the gift that she is even now in my life.

She's been Wife for 60 years, Mother to four, Grandmother to 14, Great-Grandmother to 21+, in addition to all of the children and adults she has loved and cared for throughout her life.

Happy 76th Birthday & Happy Mother's Day M -- I love you.

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