Staying by Her Side

Woman hugging senior mother

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.—1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8 [NIV]

The day that my mother no longer recognized me was even harder than I had imagined. As her Alzheimer’s progressed, she had become selfish and unpleasant to be around. Some days I didn’t want to visit her anymore. But now that she doesn’t recognize me, I remember who she was before the disease.

When I was 18, I was in a bad car accident, and hospitalized with multiple breaks. Mom took leave from her job and spent the entire month in my hospital room. At night she slept on an uncomfortable chair in the corner. One night she noticed my breathing pattern had changed and reported it to the nurses. Because of her diligence, I survived a blood clot in my lungs and pneumonia.

Did I show appreciation? No. I was nice to my visitors at the time, but irritable and snappish toward my mother. I was angry and hurting and I knew her love was unconditional. She would stay by my side regardless.

So how dare I not want to visit her when she is unpleasant? It’s my turn to be the one who stays by her side. Regardless.

Today's Prayer:

My Father, help me to love unconditionally.

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