Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.—ISAIAH 46:4 (ESV)
Holding tight to my mother, I carefully helped her out of the shower. I had bathed her and washed her hair. Rubbing lotion on her back was followed by blow-drying and curling her thinning hair.
“I hope they pay you well. You have a terrible job,” Mom said. It had been several months since she recognized me as her daughter. Alzheimer’s had taken her memories. She no longer remembered the endless card games we played when I was younger. No memory of quizzing me on spelling words or checking my papers for accurate grammar.
“Don’t you look pretty,” I told her, smoothing rouge on to her cheeks and brushing her face with powder.
“Oh, you’re just saying that to be kind,” she said.
But she did look pretty. Her eyes were still a vibrant blue, and all done up, she looked much younger than her 86 years. She smiled up at me; Alzheimer’s had not yet robbed her of the ability to show expression.
I filed each nail and finished it off with a clear coat of polish. Mom loved being pampered and shown the extra attention. Although the work was tiring, I felt good about being the one who could make her feel special. It made me feel special, too.