Wondrous Beauty

All the beauty of
 this world is wet with the dew of tears.

 Theodor Haecker

She folds into me like a small child and rests her head on
my chest. So tiny and frail she seems now. So childlike and innocent. I hug
her, tight, once more and turn to climb into the passenger seat of the car. I
have my hand on the handle of the door and begin pulling it shut before I
realize she is trying to get in the car with me.  “Oh, mama,” I softly say, “I have to go home
now.” Her face is crestfallen, tinged with confusion.  My step-father comes across the lawn to fetch
her.  He distracts her and gently leads
her away.  My heart is breaking.

One year ago, on Mother’s Day, I wrote about my mother’s
journey with dementia (She Walks in Beauty).  For those of you who know my mother, you know
what a gift she is. For those of you who don’t know her, here are a few of the
lessons she taught me as I was growing up:

Be kind. (It’s that simple!)

Life isn’t fair (But I will be here to love you
through its disappointments)

Serve others (This is the best way to get out of
your own funk)

Don’t stand like a question mark! (Her way of
saying, “Stand up straight”)

Don’t judge (Give everyone a break)

God is faithful (You are never alone)

A tidy house makes you feel better (It’s true!)

Clothes hung on a clothesline look and smell good
(And there is a real        art to hanging clothes on the line, involving the most judicious
use of the clothespins.)


Save money for a rainy day

Read everyday 

Laugh loudly and often (Even if it irritates
certain family members)

At some point, mothers become the best of friends (usually
when the    daughter turns 30 or so)

Author E.B. White encourages us to “Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

When I am with my mother, I see wonder through her eyes as
we walk through her neighborhood.  Her
gait is slower now (In years past, I could hardly keep up with her brisk pace).
She looks up to the clouds and points. A flower’s flash of color catches her
eye. The barking dogs prompts an occasional utterance.  She holds my hand. We stop and I show her the lamb’s ears, pick one and she caresses
the softness of it. Words are not essential. Our shadows walk in silence,
searching for wonder. 

Later, we return to the house to eat Jamoca Almond Fudge ice
cream (her favorite) decorated with Oreo cookies. She eats with her fingers
because the fork in her hand all of a sudden seems foreign and odd.  She smiles, she laughs that deep, wondrous
laugh. I heed E.B. White’s advice. I see the presence of wonder in this
beautiful woman sitting across the table from me and I voice a silent prayer of

via Always Mercy http://ift.tt/2qH6z04

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