Smiling the Smile

Smiling woman enjoying the outdoors

Love is patient…—1 CORINTHIANS 13:4 (NIV)

“Here! Put this up. And get me a drink!” Mom said a little more harshly than I hoped she meant. Mom had always been bossy. She knew it, often laughing about it. I laughed too. Mostly.

I took the magazine from her shaking hand, smiling to keep my tongue still. I knew the impatient words were better kept to myself. Mom was quickly losing her battle with Parkinson’s. She could no longer walk or do much of anything for herself.

I tried to keep a good attitude, but it was getting hard. The sicker Mom became, the more frustrated she grew, often lashing out at those of us caring for her. There was nothing I could do to change her situation, but I could put away a magazine, or get a drink, and smile even if I didn’t feel like it. I poured cold milk into a mug with a lid and a handle, the only cup that she could hold now. I patiently held the cup until she managed to get her crippled fingers wrapped around the handle.

“I’m sorry, honey,” Mom said. “I’m just getting so tired of dealing with all this.” Tears made her eyes shine. Then she started laughing. “By the time my shaking hands get this milk to my lips, it will be a milkshake!” I smiled a real smile.

Today's Prayer:

Lord, please help me bring only love and patience into my mother’s life, even when it’s difficult.

Adapted from Strength & Grace: Daily Devotions for Caregivers, a new publication from Guideposts