One year ago this week, Cindy and I spent the week with our parents at their house. During the day, friends and family members would come and visit, but in the evening it was just the four of us – like the old days.
I had the best family growing up. We didn’t have a lot and didn’t want a lot. Any small gift or unexpected excursion was a big deal. Cindy and I were taught to be content and to be grateful.
A year ago, we were brought back to that place.
Alzheimer’s had taken nearly everything Mama had except for her breath. In her last two weeks, she had one afternoon when she recognized some of us and carried on short intelligent conversations. Other than that afternoon, the disease had robbed her of her ability to communicate, to walk, and to eat. We were content just to have time together, and we were thankful.
On Wednesday night, we all slept on Mama’s bed. Daddy was against the headboard facing Mama, Cindy was sitting by the bed behind Mama and sharing her pillow. I sat on the cedar chest at the foot of the bed with my head by Mama’s feet.
Early Thursday morning, I noticed Mama’s eyes were open, so we decided to wake Daddy and leave the two of them together for a while. After an hour or so, it was time for a bathroom break. Then, we all came back into the room together at 7:10. At 7:11, Daddy’s wife of 57 years slipped away. My aunts and uncles lost their sister, my kids and grandkids lost Grandma Moore, and Cindy and I lost the best Mama ever. But Mama got back everything Alzheimer’s had taken from her.
I haven’t seen the proof yet, but I’m content to believe it’s true. And I’m grateful.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more – or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.