Five Minute Friday: After
by lisha epperson
After. I’m bothered that the word “after” brings you to mind. I am your youngest daughter , the one with your eyes, your creamy coffee skin tone, your hands…at 47 years old I am grateful to God for allowing me to have a mother for so long. Others have not been so fortunate and I am at an age where attending the funeral of a dear friends parent is becoming an all too frequent activity. Yet, I am not ready to say good-bye to you.
You are getting older. At 70 you are as pretty as ever. I can see the girl/young woman you used to be. But I also see someone else taking her rightful place, as you transition to the next season of your life. You as a senior citizen. You, in old age. The skin on your neck, your hands, and more importantly, your mind is not what it used to be. I cover for you most of the time…repeating snippets of conversation and reminding you that I forget too. My attempt at camaraderie, joining you, in the irregularity of this ugly break down. The doctors say we have to wait this out. Supplements, powerful nutrition and engagement have been prescribed and I am happy about that. It may stay the same or it may get worse. Not so bad now that they’d recommend medication. So we wait and wonder. But I sometimes worry – that your best days are already past – that your quality of life will be permanently shifted by the need for the kind of help you would absolutely refuse. That this mental deterioration is hereditary. I wonder if it will escalate and finally end in you..not knowing..me..us. Words like Alzheimer’s and dementia are frightful and I don’t want to think about – after. I rest knowing that you are intimately acquainted with the One who loves you most but I don’t want to think of life without you. After.
After you are gone I won’t be able to call you and chat about our favorite celebrities on Dancing with the Stars. After you’re gone my favorite babysitter won’t be available – even though as the years go by you want less and less to be called upon for this task. I won’t have my life line. My matrix. All selfish reasons but they are the reasons of a daughter who needs and will miss – her mother. After. Being a mother now, I know the importance of having one. A mother. I am often overwhelmed by the significance of the role. The inspiring role you have played in mine. The work and sacrifice – the overwhelming and beautiful responsibility…of mother. I will miss my mother. After. And I am not ready for any of this. I don’t want to think about it and I’m glad this link-up exercise is only 5 minutes long. But you came to mind and perhaps its healthy for me to give voice to my fears. Free them from my head and heart so that I can simply love you in the moment. Now. It’s late, but I’ll call you anyway because I really don’t want to think about….after.
Dear Lord, I am so in love with the mother you gave to me. We are both your daughters and I know You hold her life in your hands. I lift her up to you now. Renew. Restore. In Jesus name. Amen.
Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday @ lisajobaker.com. The writing prompts are a blessing along with the beautifully inspired work that follows. Visit her site to see more.
again, it took me 20 minutes to pull this together but I’m working on it.
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