Saturday, March 9, 2013

Today was Hard

Mrs. Beaver:

My mother-in-law, Jane, on Thursday
Our family stands in awe of all we watched the Lord do in her during her stay with us

Today Grandma moved to Kansas. After the death in January of the sister with whom she'd lived for the past 20 years, it was impossible for Jane to go on living in the home the two of them had shared. The upkeep would have been way beyond her capacity, and the creep of Alzheimer's presented challenges too great for solitary living.

When asked by her sons what living arrangement she favored, Jane had two simple requests: a place of her own and her dog. So after pledging their willingness to support her in those desires, Mr. Beaver's brother and his family have worked hard for the past few weeks to prepare a small apartment for Grandma. They painted and decorated. They turned her unit into a home with the careful placement of many of my mother-in-law's own belongings. My sister-in-law, who does beautiful woodwork, even built Jane a bookshelf. They worked with the staff of the assisted-living facility to make sure Grandma's medical needs will be met. My mother-in-law will be in very good hands in Kansas. In addition to her son and daughter-in-law's dedication to her, four of her grown grandchildren live in the area and are committed to showering her with love.

Despite leaving Jane in such good hands, today was hard. The good-byes were hard. Watching sadness and fear slip into my mother-in-law's countenance as she faced the ambiguity of the day was hard. Change is hard on all of us, but especially so on a widow in her eighties. Tonight is her first night alone in two decades. Everything is new and unfamiliar. I wish I could hold her, hug her, remind her how much the Lord cares for her. But I prayed a lot before the extended family arrived at this arrangement, and now I must trust the Lord to care for this vulnerable old woman whom I love so much.
Lord, I ask You to comfort Grandma. Give her peace and strength. Grant her your grace. I ask you to fend off fear on her behalf. Please give her clarity of mind. Help her to remember how much she was looking forward to having a new home. When Jane is afraid, help her to get out her Bible and review verses she has highlighted which comfort her. Her memory and will are weak now, Lord. I know after our weeks together that she will only do this if You do the impossible in her. So I ask the God-who-does-the-impossible for a miracle. Thank you, Lord, for my mother-in-law. Thank you for my children's grandmother. Thank you for this short-but-precious season of living under the same roof. Although there were moments when I didn't know how we'd carry on, Your faithfulness saw us through every difficult time. You helped Grandma heal and adapt. You grew her faith. You gave all of us so many sweet times filled with laughter and love. Thank You for calling us to minister to my mother-in-law. The blessings to our family were myriad.
Thank you also, Lord, for teaching me more about how far I am from consistently being able to live a foot-washing kind of love. Thank You for your long-suffering love for me as I selfishly bumble my way through life. Lord, while its hard to have to acknowledge the self-focus that I see more clearly now than I did a couple of months ago, You have also given me the gift of being more in awe of Jesus' willingness to bow down and wash His disciples' feet. May I serve more like Him following Jane's time living in our home. Please mold me into Your son's image.

Jane today with the son and daughter-in-law who will now care for her,
as well as nine of our children (Daria is visiting Anna)


Lissie said...

Praying, praying, praying.

Denise said...

I know this is so hard on you from a distance, my precious daughter. Your prayers make such a difference though!