I said goodbye to my mother – for a time – when she passed into the presence of God at the VA Home in February. We shared a final worship time in her room with George Beverly Shea and readings from the Psalms (via IPhone).
The three years she spent in our home, descending into the abyss of dementia, is now coming out in the form of laughter and tears in my book, Raising Mom. Caring for a loved one with dementia is reverse parenting. Our natural children come to us as infants and grow into adolescence and beyond. My mom came to us as an adolescent, strong-willed and sure she could do things she couldn’t. Over time she became a child and finally an infant, totally dependent on us. During those precious years, I saw so many parallels to my childhood. All of the challenges, disappointments and hard decisions my mother made raising me, were repeated by us in reverse order.

Two generations spill over into the third, for our children will benefit both from seeing our example of compassionate care and, as we age, we will be better prepared to shelter them from the challenges ahead. I say this confessing that hardly a day passed when mom was alive that I didn’t selfishly yearn for greater freedom and less responsibility; as her world closed in around her I sometimes felt trapped in it. But in the end we both belong to the world that is unbounded, invisible and eternal, to which the sufferings of this present world are not worthy to be compared.