“Consider how the wildflowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Luke 12:27. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. Matthew 10:29
It was 50 degrees outside this morning when I rose for the day. I felt the warmth envelop me as I took our small dog out. It was a very welcome change after a frigid winter and very cold early spring. I could see the beautiful crocus blooming in profusion in a yard we pass on our daily walk. I caught my first glimpse of a young finch on our bird feeder. All of this is a reminder to me of God’s wonder and daily care of us. It also made me think of my mom. She lived in our home for the last 4 years or so of her life. My dad had passed away before he could come and live with us. A stroke had caused mom to suffer from dementia. She also suffered from Parkinson’s – so even small daily tasks were beyond her. My parents had owned a big green standalone swing. It had been placed on their small back porch outside their apartment in Vienna WV. I remember it being a favorite place for them to sit and watch the world go by. After my father’s death, the swing was brought by friends of our parents to our house. When the weather was nice, mom and I would sit in that swing together It was placed on the patio where it faced the bird feeders. Sometimes we would sit quietly, other times we would talk. She loved watching the birds. The experience was brand new to her every day as she could not remember sitting there before. Sometimes I would take the opportunity to hold her hand in my lap and trim her nails. If I held her hand on my lap, the shaking would become less and I could trim them without harm. Her attention would be on watching the birds. It is a pleasant memory for me. Even though it was sometimes heart wrenching to watch her slow deterioration- there were good moments to remember. We had several trees and flowers in the backyard. She loved watching the wind move the branches of the evergreens. She also enjoyed the spring and summer flowers even though she could no longer recognize what they were.
My mom loved evergreen trees. One day my husband took her shopping to find a tree to plant in our front yard in memory of my dad. She chose an evergreen. She wanted my husband to plant it a few feet from the house so that she could look at it from the dining room window. He tried to talk her into moving it a few feet further. It was small, and she did not understand that the roots would harm the foundation of the house as it grew. That’s the thing with dementia, her mind once made up could not be changed. My husband reasoned it could be moved later. She loved that little tree. A year or so after mom was gone the tree became infected with some type of worm that we were unable treat. Sadly, we had to dig it up. I am so glad mom did not have to see that happen in her lifetime.
We learned that just as with a small child there are battles that you don’t even want to win. You cannot argue or reason with a person with dementia or Alzheimers. It isn’t even worth trying. They see things in a different way. They would forget moments after you tried. Just love them and care for them as they are. Let things go. It isn’t important. Care for them as God cares for the sparrows and the flowers in the field. Look at the beauty of the flowers God provides. He says that even Solomon was not arrayed like the flowers in the field. Remember the care he has for the sparrows, he takes care and provides for their every need. God says you and your loved one are so much more important to him. He cares and takes care of your every need before you even ask. He takes care of the needs of your loved one as well. Enjoy the quiet and peaceful moments with the one you love when the moments are provided. Sit quietly with them, holding their hand in yours. Time passes so quickly.