My Mother's seventeth birthday is next weekend. I won't be throwing a party for her- much as I would like to do so. Mum has a degenerative neurological disorder and can only eat puree so will be fed her usual food in her nursing home.
I hadn't really expected Mum to reach this age but her tent is being taken down very slowly. It is sad to see my lovely, intelligent, spiritual mother unable to care for herself and yes, envy does get in sometimes when other people's mothers make Christmas lunch, knit for children and help when babies are born. Yet, God has designed all this for a purpose. My Mother was first diagnosed, many years ago, when I was thirteen. At that time, her brother wrote to her and quoted a hymn. My Mum, being the sort of person she is, let me read the letter and I've always been grateful for this and for applying this hymn to our situation.
"God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.
O, fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
There have been and are blessings. My Mother prayed for all of her children and knows that we all trust the Saviour.
She has had excellent care in a Christian nursing home for the last three years. Care that is not only good physically but includes staff who appreciate her smiles and an elderly lady who faithfully reads the Bible to her.
My Mother has always been a cup half full person whereas I struggle with being a cup half empty type. Yet, I was so thrilled when she was able to speak to me, this last February. I hadn't heard her speak for a couple of years prior to this and her speech is so, so rare but those couple of sentences, after what had been a difficult few months for me, are some of the most precious memories of my life.
It is sad for my parents not to be able to live together now-sad for my Father as he makes his journey to see his wife each week. Sad for the two of my siblings who were married after Mum was too frail to be able to attend. I grieve that my children only see my Mother as an elderly lady who is usually in bed and can't talk to them. I know that if she had been well she would have loved reading with them, talking to them and walking with them.
Yet, God knows His full design in Mummy's illness. I can't see it all but when we are with Him, He will make it plain and my Mother will, like all God's children, have a glorious new body.