Monday, September 5, 2011

My Mom

A couple weeks ago, my dad had to suddenly go into the hospital because he had blood clots in both lungs. My mom is completely lost without dad. He was in the hospital for about 5 days. School was back in session and so I couldn't take time off in the day to be with mom. We were very fortunate that Ashley had not gone to college yet. Ashley had mom all day and I took over after work. I stayed the night at mom's house for 5 nights. With mom's Alzheimer's, she gets very confused and frustrated whenever her routine is upset. Each night we would come home from the hospital. Mom would ask where dad was, I'd tell her he is in the hospital. I would remind her of his condition and that she had spent the day with him. About an hour later, we would go through the same routine. Mom and dad have a spare room at their house but if I slept in it, mom would sleep on the couch. If I slept on the couch, mom would sleep in her own bed. I always sleep on the couch. On Sunday morning this week, I was sitting in the living room reading the newspaper. Mom went to the kitchen and prepared herself a bowl of cold cereal. Took it to the table and sat down to eat. I think she forgot I was even there. She said a blessing on the food. First she thanked Heavenly Father for the food she was about to eat. She asked Him to bless it for her nourishment. She then started to cry and she pleaded Heavenly Father to please spare the life of her husband. She asked if He needed someone, please take her. She said that dad could live without her but she could not live without dad. She is sobbing this whole time. It was so sweet and tender. I took her to church with me that day. On the way, she said who was worried because she didn't know anyone from my ward. I told her not to worry, I had 2 people in my ward that knew her. I said Billie Purcell from our old 5th Ward and Wilma Aldous from our old 7th Ward will be there. She said she was ok but I could tell she was still apprehensive. We walk in the back of the chapel and immediately Billie bolts from the back row and embraces mom and reminds her who she is. About 5 seconds later, Wilma sees the commotion and goes to mom and hugs her. This small gesture made mom feel so welcome. It made mom's church experience so special. Later that night, as I'm trying to get mom to go to bed, I hear her in her room saying her prayers. Again I hear her pleading with Heavenly Father to spare dad's life and return him to good health. Mom doesn't read her scriptures like she used to. I liken her to the 5 prepared virgins who have trimmed their lamps and have prepared themselves with a reserve of oil. Mom has enough oil in her lamp to get her through these rough years. Even though she can't remember who people are, she still knows that Heavenly Father knows her and loves her and answers her prayers. I have no doubt that she knows this when she needs to. How grateful I am for a mother who set the example. I am grateful for the love she shows me and my children. I pray that my children can see through this different person that mom is now and remember the sweet, loving grandma that they grew up knowing.