I grew up in the back seat of mama’s Chevrolet.
You see, my mother loved real estate. She loved brand new homes, renovated homes, big kitchens with cherry cabinets, and screened-in porches. Sundays we would drive, searching for Parade of Homes and Open Houses and any For Sale signs staked deeply in acre lots.
After years of dreaming and researching, my mother had blue put to white and drew up the home of her dreams. Sometime around 2004 she broke ground on an empty lot on her favorite street.
And two months later received news that threw a wrench in the construction.
The home she’d dreamt of her entire adult life wasn’t the home she would live in, after all. Jesus had other blue prints worked up for her in Heaven.
When she died, a 3000 square foot frame stood on that empty acre. Reminding me of Sunday afternoon rides.
And reminding me not to store up riches here.
As an adult, there have been two notably difficult seasons of my life — like, put these two in the books, big-time-hard seasons. One, was losing my mom to cancer and completing the house of her dreams, only to sell it off to strangers.
The second season has been the past few months – watching the health of my grandmother decline and having to make big-girl decisions for her long-term care.
When mama died a middle-man generation was lost. And this generation, the one missing between Mamaw and me, is the one who usually assumes responsibility for the elderly. And with mom gone, the weight of this has fallen on us.
At 37 years old, I know more about Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, assisted living options, pre-arrangements, lift chairs, wheelchairs and walkers than the average Joe. The ER doctors know our names and Mamaw’s nurse knows her birthdate and my cell number by heart.
And if you ever get really constipated, I have the best remedy that doesn’t involve one laxative or suppository. It’s good to keep such knowledge handy. Just sayin’.
I’ve learned a system that exists for the aging. A system that is helpful, but a very stressful one to navigate. Some days I thought that writing all those late night papers in college might have really been preparing me for writing letters to defend the widow.
And it has taken every ounce of my quiet time to navigate through it all in prayer and petition, leaving my little cyber spot here rather neglected.
But next week I am thrilled to say that we roll out the red carpet for Ethel in a new home with greater aid and attendance. And I couldn’t be happier for her! Pray she loves it and makes new friends. I can not imagine being 94 and the “new kid on the block”.
Why do I tell you all this? Well, I don’t know. I suppose I want you to understand where I’ve been and join me in the excitement of Ethel’s new place.
But also to say, “I’m back and I’ve missed you.”
I have several half-written posts tucked away back here and I look forward to wrapping those up and posting more. The Lord speaks loudly during hardship, doesn’t He?
I encourage you today, press into those hard places with Him. Go there.
For where there is difficultly there is depth.
That’s where we find Him most tangibly.
God is our Refuge and our strength. He is a very present help in a time of need. Psalm 46:1