Saturday, June 9, 2007

Did You Miss Me?

I feel rather awkward starting this blog, as it's been a month since I last wrote one. Like anything else, it's difficult to get back into the routine.

I do have a good excuse for my silence, though. My mother-in-law, who has lived in a Memory Care facility just 16 miles from us, has required much of my attention these past four weeks.

On Mother's Day John and I took her out to lunch after the church service we hold at her facility. If you want people to clear a path for you, just take a 90-year old woman with a walker along with you! Everyone at the crowded restaurant moved aside to let her through, so of course I tagged along! Mother had a wonderful time. She smiled a lot, enjoying watching little girls in their crisp summer dresses. We knew she was tired when we took her back to her facility.

Several hours later, as we were getting ready to begin the service at our new church start, we received a phone call. Mother had fallen and was complaining of a lot of pain in her hip. So the facility called an ambulance and we were soon at the hospital with her. Thus began the saga.

Her hip was broken and she had sugery on it the following day. Her life, and ours, has not been the same since. Let me just say that 90 years, Alzheimer's, surgery, and narcotics do not make a good mix. For several days I was afraid we'd suddenly lost her, as far as her personality went. Mother was not there. She'd been replaced by some very frail woman who only spoke gibberish, no longer knew what to do with a spoon or a toothbrush, and couldn't chew her food. As a former nurse, I knew that the after effects of surgery can wreak havoc on the elderly, but it's different when it's your elderly!

Over the weeks she has improved some, but we know she will never be the same. She's been back and forth between the hospital and a skilled nursing facility. She had one very bright day last week when I walked in and hardly recognized her, as she was back to looking and acting like she had before the fall. But that improvement lasted only for a few hours. She's now pretty unresponsive to us. Seldom is there light in her eyes. There have been many times when we've thought the Lord was calling her to heaven.

And that's where she longs to go. Numerous times in this past month she has said, "I just want to go" or "Now when I'm gone, don't worry about me." We've told her she's free to leave us whenever God calls. We hope it will be soon and that she won't have to suffer more.

Even so, come Lord Jesus.