Through some odd circumstances that include, no lie, a swine-flu related preventative quarantine, my wife is celebrating Mother’s Day with no children (except me) in a last-minute change-of-destination, but awesome weekend trip to the Georgia coast. (Sidenote in support of the travel industry: there are some amazing deals out there for weekend vacations.)
The weather and the hospitality and the food here have been perfect. (Here are some photos.) And because my wife (a superstar mom for our kids) got the chance to sleep late this morning, I decided to write a quick post about my mother.
My Mother was 39 when I was born. If my math is correct, that means she is 94 (if either of my older brothers read this, they can correct my dates). As you can see from about 15 months ago, she is physically healthy and is lovely as always (and short, as always — my children and I got our height genes elsewhere).
Unfortunately, my mother has spent the past several years on a slow journey into dementia. She is fortunate to be in a facility specifically designed and run for patients who suffer from dementia-related conditions like Alzheimer’s. The people who provide her daily care are saints.
But then, so is my mother.
Whether or not it is true, I’d like to believe that dementia has slowly peeled away all my mother’s memory and thoughts until she has reached the essence of who she is. And for her, that essence is complete and total love and joy.
While it is sad that she does not know who I am when I visit her, that sadness is more than compensated by the way in which she showers love on me — and all others — with whom she comes in contact.
She is still funny. She loves people. And she loves God.
That is her essence. That is her reality.
For the past couple of years, I’ve observed that my mother has reached a state of being that is like that described in some eastern and new-age religions as being “in the moment” or the state of now. There is no future or past. Just this moment. And so, embrace the joy this moment brings. (While that may be an eastern way of viewing things for others, for her it’s very much Southern Baptist.)
The journey through dementia can be cruel and contain great sorrow.
But for my mother, it has brought her to a place where only this moment is real. And, for her, the only real thing is love.
So for her, that means that today — and tomorrow and the next — will be a happy Mothers day.
May your Mothers day be filled with love, as well.