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A few nights ago, I ran across a song that ministered to exactly what I was feeling, and I used it in a blog post. Then I went to a friend’s blog, who very recently lost her husband, and she had used the same song. Maybe God is trying to tell those of us who don’t understand His ways, that someday we will see Him face to face, and it will be worth it all.

I want to believe that–I really do. Deep in my heart I cling to that truth, though there are days that the pain and agony of living is just too much to bear.

My mother’s dementia is getting worse, and there have been a couple of episodes lately that I will write about when I feel stronger. It’s all out in the open now, and others are well aware of it at the nursing home.  I just can’t fully talk about it right now. It’s too painful.

But tonight I was talking to her on the phone, and everything was completely normal, though she was frustrated and depressed, with being in the nursing home for rehab so long.

Suddenly she related something that had happened today, and how no one would believe her. She said that she argued with the CNA about it, and then everyone started asking her questions. They wanted to know if she knew where she was. (It was certainly NOT believable, but I knew that I needed to reassure her, and be her friend when she could find no other ally.) It doesn’t do much good to harshly confront someone suffering like this. You have to reorient them gently, because it’s too disconcerting to have everyone tell you that what you fully believe is true, isn’t. She believed with all her heart that it was true, and she was desperately trying to get someone, anyone, to believe that she wasn’t crazy. (It clearly couldn’t have happened, and I was once again confronted with how very serious this is becoming.)

As I listened to her, I felt that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach, and that dizzy feeling in my head, and my eyes filled with tears. (This can’t be happening again, I thought, but somehow knew that it was going to continue, again and again.)  I calmly tried to understand the things that she was saying, and tried to reassure her that she wasn’t crazy.

We talked a little more, and I told her that I would visit tomorrow, and to call if she needed me. (I had just been with her last night, and she was very lucid.) She’s had great difficulty with the phone lately, but sometimes she remembers how to answer it. Cell phones are so complicated for the elderly. They don’t have regular phones in the room. Isn’t that weird???

After I hung up, I wanted to throw myself on the floor and wail loudly, but I didn’t have the strength.  So I ran downstairs to tell my husband, Rob, who really never knows what to say to me at a time like this, for truthfully, what is there to say? (Only God can comfort me lately, and even He’s not always successful.)

I have suffered painful losses in the last few years-both of my dads (my birth dad, and my stepfather from the age of 7.) They died close in time to each other. In a way, I died then too. I laid down my life, as I knew it, to care for my mom. I was obsessive about it. I thought that I had to keep her alive. I was sure that I alone would be to blame, if she died or got really sick, or injured. And so I never slowed down, trying to be everything that she needed, and do everything that she needed.

And even though I did the best I could, I couldn’t stop this from happening. My counselor said that I needed to understand that I couldn’t give her mortality. Still, I tried to make things okay. But I can’t make them okay anymore. I don’t have the answers, and it’s all spinning out of control. I’m not just losing her-I’m losing her in a frightening way. She goes in and out, and I’m clinging to what’s left of her on any given day. I have watched her scream out in physical pain in the ER for 6 hours straight, after breaking her hip, and yet she has been so strong emotionally, through all that she has suffered. (Too strong in a way.) I know that she grieves for all her losses (her husband most of all), and yet she goes on with determination. But she is very, very frustrated now. She has been away from home too long, and she feels so confined in her wheelchair, and she keeps trying to get up, when they’ve told her it’s not time yet–not without supervision. And we’re all afraid that she will fall again. But she can’t understand. Sometimes she is just being stubborn, but many times now, I think she doesn’t remember what they’ve said, and she just doesn’t know the dangers. She is walking some in therapy with her walker, but they don’t allow her to walk in her room right now. It’s too soon. She is angry about being there so long, she is worn out, and disgusted with the way her body and mind are betraying her.

I can’t control this. Like so many things over these last 3 years, I’ve had to realize that I can’t make it all work out. I can’t fix this. I desperately wish I could.

I try to trust the Lord with the outcome, but I am fearful and exhausted. Every day it’s a different crisis, and every day I wonder how much more I can take.  (And how much more she can take.)

And so lately, I sing this song in my head, and try to remind myself that even though I don’t understand His ways, they are so much higher than my ways, and I have to trust Him. I have to let go now, and let Him work this out. It’s so hard to let go, because I have taken care of her like my child. I have bonded deeply with her, and if I could, I would protect her from every danger and threat. I would hold her, and never let her go. But I can’t.

I’m grieving already–life is so hard. Please God comfort me. Comfort her. Help us make the decisions that we need to make for her best care. Guide us. Let us feel your presence in this dark hour…

Please read other articles that I have written here:


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