Combined, they’ve walked this earth 177 years. Last month they celebrated 65 years of marriage…they’ve seen it all….the better, the worse, the richer, the poorer, sickness and health…and it will only be death that parts them.
He sat with me and talked of her. There has always been a steadfastness about him…always. Caring for her has revealed the depth of that rock-steadiness. He told me about the nursing home and her care there, about her recent hearing and vision tests, about her physical health. Then he looked wistfully out the picture window as he described her mental health…about how she has trouble remembering the aides’ names, about her confusion. It bothers him…to see her this way…struggling. There were long pauses in his description, as if he was searching for something to steady his mind on. How must it feel to watch the other half of one”s self slowly, painfully slipping away? Wouldn’t I, too, grasp for something to hold on to, something to secure myself?
I took the two oldest girls to visit with her. She was sleeping so peacefully when we arrived. When she realized who we were, her eyes danced a bit…she hasn’t forgotten love. We sat and talked with her…she was delighted to see the girls and kept locking eyes with them, as if she were memorizing their faces. We fed her dinner and I felt emotional thinking of the thousands of meals she must have spoon fed her own babies and grandbabies and great-grand babies over the years. It was a privilege to return the favor. After dinner the girls leaned in close and recited their blue-ribbon speeches for her. She smiled. Then they sang Sunday School songs to her. We could all tell this was ministering to her heart.
Three times she asked us to sing “Jesus Loves Me.” The girls sang with gusto…one of the aides stopped in the doorway, smiling, listening. On our last sing-through, she closed her eyes and tears rolled down her cheeks. I wonder if she was taking the words to heart…”Jesus loves me, this I know…”
Before we left, we prayed with her, holding her hands, loving on her. She was tired…but, she was peaceful. The words hung in the air…‘Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me…” Yes, MaMa, Jesus does love you…Yes, He loves us all.