Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I am an incredibly selfish person. I realized this during prayer time this morning. I was praying for my grandmother and begging God to let her have one more Christmas with us. I remembered pleas from last year for the same thing.

I went to see Maw-Maw at the hospital last night and it broke my heart. Oh, we had a good visit, but Alzheimer's is a thief and a destroyer. She is winding down. I can tell. I really think something is up because my dad, who has a very very strong dislike for my grandmother and has NEVER spoken positively about him (strangely she still loves him, despite the emotional abuse and alcoholism that just about killed me) called me on my way from church to the hospital to ask me mom's cell phone number (which he knows) so he could call her and check on Maw-Maw. I was moved by his compassion but almost had to pull over the car when it hit me that he doesn't even like her. She must be bad off.

My visit with her was great. She was a little addled and confused, as are most Alzheimer's patients, and I had to repeat things like what church I went to, what I thought made her fall, assurances that she was going to be okay (oh, you think it was because of the dehydration? I never thought of that!) a gazillion times. I don't mind. I loved our visit and she was really more alert than she usually is and we even watched a television show together. She laughed at it at the appropriate times (and some not so appropriate - it was Who's Line is it Anyway) and followed the skits.

Still, I was depressed over our visit. She's weakening and she's starting to say things like, "I'm getting old, I guess. I can't remember anything anymore." She never used to say that. We were talking about church and she said she wanted me to take her to her church that she hasn't been to in years (she went right up until the time she was admitted to the retirement home and has gone a few times since then) and I promised her that as soon as she got better I would. She said she'd have to get her hair fixed first. Now that is Maw Maw, LOL!

Still, this morning as I prayed for her to get better I listed all the reasons I thought she should. Christmas being a big one, Kristyn's wedding in March, seeing the boys (I have 5 year old twin cousins) grow up and get a few years older, etc. I realized what an incredibly selfish person I was when I told God that I wish He'd let us keep her until Christmas.

I was suddenly dumbstruck by the absurdity of my prayer. Christmas and then what? Let her die after we've had our picture perfect wonderful family get-together or stick around for the New Year, Easter, her birthday, Mother's Day, repeat the same year over....I cried over this during prayer time this morning as I realized I had to surrender my grandmother to God (not that she already wasn't His but I surrendered to His will and not mine.) I'm not a boo-hooer. Well, I must be because I NEVER cry but I did a few weeks ago when I saw The Notebook. Anyway, I wept. I was so glad that no one was up. Wilson looked at me like, "You are one crazy woman!" but he let me hold him and love on him. That was comforting.

I have a reassurance that God is in control and if He wants her to be with us at Christmas she will. If He wants me to focus more on Him and less on family at Christmas then He has gotten my attention. God is good and His mercies never fail. When we falter, as I did in my selfishness, He waits with loving arms and holds our heads against His chest so we can hear His heartbeat and get back in rhythm with Him. I feel more centered after my surrender this morning. Much more peaceful and confident that God's will is best, not mine. Yes, it can be painful but God is there to heal our hurts and wipe away our tears and draw us closer to Him when we need it.