My Mother

My mother had her 97th birthday a little over a month ago, although she doesn’t know it. In fact, Mother is aware of very little these days. She knows me most of the time, although she frequently can’t think of my name. Sometimes she thinks I’m her grandson or her father or brother, but usually she knows I’m her son.

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Mother holding her 95th birthday cake

Mother lives in a small assisted living group home, along with four to six others, depending on how recently someone has died. She’s been there almost five years, and she’s been the oldest resident almost the whole time.

There was a lady there a couple of years ago who died a couple of weeks before her 100th birthday. She retired from cutting hair at age 90.

Mother retired over 30 years ago from her career as a social worker. That career was a natural for her, since she’s always wanted to help anyone around who needed anything. Until her 90s, she was always the one who jumped up to wait on everyone and never asked anyone to do for her.

She quit walking shortly after she moved into this home five years ago. Now she can’t even stand with someone helping to hold her up. They have to lift her in and out of her wheelchair—not too difficult, since she probably doesn’t weigh 100 pounds these days.

Sometime in the last few months, Mother pretty well quit eating. She chews her food for awhile and then spits it back onto her plate. I know, not very appetizing. She makes exceptions for cookies, ice cream, and such. She’ll swallow them.

Her memory is non-existent. When she asks a question, she may remember the answer for two or three minutes, or she may ask the same question again as soon as you finish answering.

It’s funny what she does remember, though. She remembers Jesus. Can’t recall her mother or father or much else, but she remembers Jesus. If you ask her about her health, she’ll tell you Jesus gave her good health. She’s not in doubt about her source.

She spends her waking hours sitting in a chair, quietly singing “Jesus Loves Me” or “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” It might drive you up the wall to hear her sing those same two songs time after time, all day long.

For awhile it bothered me, and then I began to see God’s grace in her singing. She is reaffirming the importance of God in her life. She’s announcing to the world that, although she may not remember anyone or anything else, she remembers Jesus. Maybe He’s also reminding us He hasn’t forgotten her. He knows exactly where she is and will one day escort her to her place in heaven.

That’s a comforting thought to me. I know that regardless of all else, she knows who she is as a child of God. She knows Jesus is her Savior and that He is always with her. What a wonderful thing for her to keep on her mind.

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If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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20 Responses to My Mother

  1. Lovely post, David. It sounds as though your mother remembers what she’s held most dear. She’s lucky to have you. My great aunt had Alzheimer’s disease and never forgot the love of her life or her music.

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  2. Beautiful, David. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. David – I believe your mother is gaining comfort from her singing but somehow I believe she knows she’s also comforting those she knows she’s leaving behind. She’s blessed to have you for a son.

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  4. Thanks, Kitt. I believe there’s a power in words that goes beyond our understanding, and I think “Jesus Loves Me” is a perfect example of that power.

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  5. I’m sure your mother’s condition isn’t easy on you. I’m sorry for that.

    Your mom singing “Jesus Loves Me” reminds me of a Sandi Patti album I had during my teen years… She talked about how it was one of the first songs she learned. She even mimicked what she probably sounded like singing it as a girl. As a teenager she fell in love with Karen Carpenter’s music…and she found away to sing it to that style. When she headed off to college to study music she outgrew Karen, but not the song…and she sang it with a more operatic spin…but it was always the constant in her life. It was her reminder that she is loved and never alone. There’s a comfort to that. I couldn’t find the whole thing, but I found her story about it and college. I thought you might get a kick out of it.

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  6. Barb Estinson says:

    I’m choking back a few tears after reading your beautiful piece about Mom. I will try to gain your perspective of appreciating her knowledge that God loves her ….. and she is secure in that …. when her singing starts to drive me nuts next time I’m there. She is so precious … and despite how infantile she has become, still the same Mom who loved you and me as she raised us and through all the years since then. Love you, Bro.

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    • BETTY WILLIAMS says:

      OH, DAVID, WHAT A LOVELY, LOVELY PIECE ABOUT YOUR MOM. YOU ARE ONE WHOM EVERY MOTHER WOULD LOVE TO HAVE FOR A SON. (I HAVE ONE SON – DECEASED AS OF IO YEARS AGO BUT CERTAINLY ONE WHO LEFT A LOVING LEGACY….) ANYWAY, I’M NOT TOO FAR BEHIND YOUR MOM AND MY HUSBAND EVEN CLOSER TO “THAT” AGE THAN I. AND LIKE YOUR MOM, OUR SOURCE AND CENTER OF MANY MANY GOOD THINGS, HAPPENINGS, MEMORIES, ETC. IS GOD.

      I WOULD ENJOY HEARING MORE ABOUT YOUR MOM WHENEVER YOU HAVE THE TIME.

      MUCH APPRECIATION, BETTY WILLIAMS

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    • Thanks, Barb. Love you, too.

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  7. Jess Witkins says:

    David, I’m so sorry that life has become difficult for your mother, but what a testimony of your love for her and her love of God. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

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  8. Jim Meyer says:

    David, that is so sweet and touching. Thank you for sharing that perspective about Gam.

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  9. Precious! Thank you for sharing your mother with all of us!

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  10. Sharon K. Walker says:

    How sweet and true. Your mother has forgotten almost everyone except THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE in her life. And you are a dutiful, loving, and devoted son.

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