Friday, July 8, 2011

The Lord is My Shepherd

Today I made my bi-monthly visit to my mother, a resident at Lakeland Nursing Home in Jackson, Mississippi.

Each visit is a milestone.

The first time I cut her hair.

The first time she didn't remember her grandchildren.

Her transition from verbally abusive mother to loving, complimentary mother.

I have a memoir which was published in Smith's Six-Word Memoir:

"The Upside of Alzheimer's: new mother."


So, today, I took with me two things to my visit with Mom:

A really delicious chocolate chip cookie from Broadstreet Bakery, and

A Bible.

Specifically, the Bible I received as a gift from my grandmother on Easter, 1959. I was eight years old.

For some reason I thought she might like for me to read to her from the Psalms.

BINGO.

When I got to Psalms 23, she started reciting it from memory as I read, a smile spreading across her face like I haven't seen in years.

She was especially lucid when we got to the verses that said, "He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul."

After one recitation, I handed her the Bible, which she fingered lovingly, and then looked at me and said, "I love you."

I love you, too, Mom.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a spiritual experience!!!!! You are one year older than my son so I could visualize his doing that for me. I know today's experience with your mom will be one you will cherish forever which only confirms our mutual belief -
cherish the moment.........

Martha Bunn (age 83)

Susan Cushman said...

Thanks, Martha. My mother is 83. And yes, today helped my faith. Greatly.

Gillian Doyle said...

Bless you, Susan. I was in your shoes a little over two years ago with my 87-year-old mother who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's in December that progressed with astonishing speed.

We'd had a difficult mother-daughter relationship but she also changed in those last few months into a very sweet mother.

Thank you for reminding me that there are blessings to found when you look for them.

Susan Cushman said...

Gillian: I'm so glad you had a similar experience. I know it isn't always this way. I'll take whatever blessings come. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Wendy said...

Oh Susan, I love this and it brings tears to my eyes. My Grandpa (my dad's precious father) had Alzheimer's and his tattered black Bible was his constant companion. I can still picture his long tapered fingers turning the pages back and forth, over and over. I think it brought him comfort. I'm so thankful you had this moment with your mother. Sweet and simple blessings.

Emma Connolly said...

this is such a gift to all of us Susan.