Life can change in an instant, in the blink of an eye. In the morning, a person can be nice. By the afternoon, just the opposite. This is what happened today.
I was surprised to learn my mother had been moved to another room in the nursing home. I was not called about that, but I was supposed to get a call. Anyway, she had been moved at the request of her then roommate, who complained about her yelling and calling her names. She finally got her wish. Instead of her being moved, my mother was moved. At least she was moved to a room with no roommate. How long that will be we will see. Remembering how she was when I visited her earlier in week, I was expecting the same, even though she had been moved to a new room. I decided not to bring up anything about what had happened that got her to a new nursing home until she brought it up. Perhaps I should have said something, but I figured since she didn’t bring it up, neither would I. Well, that had to be dealt with today.
The “how did I get here” and “what happened” questions came streaming out as soon as I got to her room. I knew something was up, because the look on her face and her comments towards me were not good, positive ones. She just started belting out instructions of what she wanted, then changing her mind when I went to get help to assist moving her to a more comfortable position in her bed. Eventually she calmed down enough for me to explain what had happened the past three weeks.
She said she remembered nothing. She didn’t remember her leg hurting, didn’t remember being in the hospital or having the surgery, and on and on it went. She didn’t believe all that was happening to her, and of course, me being her only child, I was to blame for it somehow.
But this time, something different happened on my part. I responded differently.
Usually, I take her harsh words inwardly and personally, which aids in starting the downward spiral of feeling bad. This time was different. I kept telling her I loved her, and even though she told me not to come back, and comments of “whatever you want to do, so be it” was said by her, I did not let that deter me. I was actually smiling; even that surprised me.
Despite what she said, I told her I was praying for her. Despite her saying I could do whatever I wanted to do, I told her there were many people praying for her because they cared for her. And then I told her I would be coming back to visit her when she kept saying she didn’t want to see me, that I could leave. Her usual dismissals would leave me feeling defeated in the past, but not this time. I told her I would be back. In fact, I kept saying to her over and over God’s got my back and he has hers too. Actually, that line is from a Steven Furtick sermon he had preached the past Sunday, and it and other words just seemed to come from nowhere…and with a smile on my face! Who knew?!!
“Are you finished?” she asked, in a deadpan, not-so-nice tone. I told her, “No I’m not. You will get well, and you with the help of rehab you will walk again, and God has our back.” (I wanted to say, regardless of your attitude, God still has you.)
Eventually, I left her room, talked to her nurse Chris, talked to the admissions director and got to my car, thanking God for being in the midst. And then, without warning, this huge grin flashed across my face. And as I turned on the radio, K-Love provided a great song by Hillsong that just summed up my visit with mom:
I’ll sing the night into the morning, I’ll sing the fear into your praise
I’ll sing my soul into your presence, Whenever I say your Name
Let the devil know not today
Whenever I say your name Jesus, Let the devil know not today!