I am sitting in a hospital room in the middle of the night listening to my mother mutter unintelligible words as she reaches for things only she sees. I know I'm not the first person to deal with tough issues like this, but the part that makes this hard is that the majority of her problems are a result of choices she's made throughout her life. What began as a medical situation that required surgery to be corrected has become the least of the issues threatening her life in every way. I truly believe that as long as a person has breath they have value not only in God's eyes but in the world they live in. But I'm not gonna lie; dark thoughts come unbidden especially when it's dark outside.
A few weeks back some friends of ours were telling us about the difficult time they'd been through recently. They've been involved in ministry for the last 30+ years and as victims of deception and ultimately betrayal, they had to uproot their lives and begin again. One thing they shared with us that they had taken from the experience was instead of asking the question, "Why?" to ask the question "What does this make possible?" I've thought a lot about that question and how it's a much more productive one to ponder when life doesn't go the way we thought it would or should. It's somewhat helpful to think about as Tiffany will now be spending Christmas alone due to our inability to travel because of my mom's health. And as Matthew recovers from his 7th surgery on the same knee, the hope is that the answer is "a lot!". But as I think about the many possible ways this scenario could play out with my mom, all I really know is what is no longer possible for her.
At some point I'll get some pictures up from our time together as a family a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, my mom wasn't feeling well even then and left before we could get any pictures of her that day. But I do have one from her birthday that we took at Publix where she was working that day and it's one of my favorites of her. So I'll close with that and hope that memories will eventually erase the scene in front of me as I type.