Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.—PSALM 71:9 (NIV)
“Sharon, I have an awful sore throat. It might be a tooth.” Mom was getting frailer. These days, new health issues emerged weekly. As soon as one thing was under control, something else popped up.
It wasn’t a tooth. Mother had a bad case of shingles. It was in her throat, earlobes, nostrils, eyes and scalp, causing terrible pain. The doctor prescribed medication and sent us home. He told me she’d need someone with her the next few weeks. How would I manage that? My husband and I worked full-time.
Mom worsened, and ended up hospitalized. A caseworker took me aside, and told me that she was eligible for nursing home care. It was the best option right now. My mother needed round-the-clock care. I dreaded breaking the news to her.
I sat next to her hospital bed, holding her hand. “I don’t want you in a nursing home, Mom, but I don’t know what else we can do right now. It feels like I’m abandoning you.”
She squeezed my fingers. “Sharon, you’ve always been there for me. Don’t feel guilty. I need more help than you can give right now. It will be okay.”
My plan was to reassure my mother, but instead, she was the one comforting me. My mom was my anchor of faith, in good times and bad.