Questions without Answers

December 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Kathleen Brown –

Hot coffee. Thank you, Lord.

The café next to the motel is a classic—breakfast served all day, coconut and chocolate cream pies displayed in frosty glass cases, endless refills of coffee. I lift the mug to my lips and tell myself everything is fine.

But the confusion continues this morning. In the tiny motel room, Mom couldn’t find the toilet. It was plainly visible, but she couldn’t find it.

What should I do about this? I don’t even know what “this” is.

Across the table from me, my parents have their heads together over the breakfast menu. I hear my father suggesting ham and eggs. Or French toast. Or how about good ole’ oatmeal? His voice is loud, too loud, but she doesn’t correct him as she normally would.

While I was awake last night, I came up with a mental list of things Mom is doing differently. Or doesn’t do at all anymore. Like answering the phone. It’s always Dad now, though he hates to talk on the phone. And ironing. Every shirt he wore to work for 34 years was washed, starched, and ironed by my mother. Even the pants he wore to work on the car were scrubbed and pressed. Now his khakis are wrinkled and his collars look tired. And gardening. The plants and shrubs she tended so carefully are my father’s charges now.

When did she become so inactive?

Bacon? Ham? Sausage? Dad tells her to just make up her mind, just choose. But Mom keeps repeating, “Whatever you’re having. That’s what I want. The same as you.”

Just choose? An hour ago she couldn’t choose what to wear from her little brown suitcase. If I hadn’t helped, would she still be standing there?

Is Dad doing this at home? Helping her get dressed?

I look at them across the table. Mom’s eyes are fixed on my father. His are scanning the café, probably homing in on the goodies in the frosty glass dessert case. But when he turns from the pies, he meets her gaze in a way I have watched since my childhood. About this, there is no confusion. Their eyes speak clear devotion to each other.

The world seems to settle back on its axis. With a silent promise to expect only good things, I drink my coffee and look forward to the day.

Thank you, Father, for parents who still love each other, in spite of the changes the years have thrust on them. But Lord, I’m scared. Have I overlooked too much for too long? Has Dad been hiding this from me? Why? What do I do now? Who knows how Mom will act tonight? Tomorrow? Ahh, yes. You do. You know, Father. You have always known what this day holds. You have a plan and this day is part of it. Thank you for helping me to see the truth. Open my eyes to see the things that have changed; open my spirit to trust in the things that haven’t.

About Kathleen Brown

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One Response to “Questions without Answers”
  1. Cyn Rogalski says:

    Praying for all the families this reality touches. Lifting you as well, Kathleen.

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