What Love Looks Like

January 14, 2022 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Kathleen Brown –

Of all the miracles we experienced during my mother’s illness, few compare with the day of the wheelchair ride.

Despite the ravages of Alzheimer’s, Dad was able to keep Mom at home until just a month before she died. But eventually the disease forced a change. Because Mom couldn’t do the rehab necessary after she broke her hip, her doctor insisted she must live where she could get professional care.

With only 24 hours before Mom was to be released from the hospital, I despaired of finding a place good enough, in Dad’s eyes, for Mom to live. Would she have a room to herself? Were there plenty of nurses? Would everything look nice? Smell nice? Would the other residents be friendly?

I needn’t have worried. The Lord led us to the place He had prepared.

Dad often tried to describe for Mom the beauty of “Golden Acres.” The landscaped grounds, the parlors, the artwork hanging in the halls. The courtyard, the gift shop and the nice ladies there. He promised her she would see it all, and she, eyes blank, looked back at him and, sometimes, smiled.

But Dad didn’t take a promise lightly.

I knew nothing about the wheelchair ride until a phone call early one evening.

“Guess what, Katrinka!” Dad boomed into my ear. “Your mother went out in the wheelchair today! The nurse put her socks and robe on her, and the physical therapy people lifted her into the wheelchair. It didn’t bother her at all! No pain! She sat up and looked around at everything.”

“We passed the nurse’s station,” he went on, “and I showed her the big TV. People waved to her and she waved right back!”

I asked if a nurse or an aide came along.

“Nope! Just your mother and I! We went everywhere. She really liked the gift shop. I knew the ladies would offer us coffee—I carried your mother’s ‘til we got out to the courtyard. It was warm enough to sit out there, so that’s where we drank our coffee.”

Before I could wonder aloud how he managed two Styrofoam cups and the wheelchair, Dad had moved on to introducing Mom to the receptionist and then sitting for a while on the walk outside, beside “those tropical-looking ferns.”

I hadn’t heard such satisfaction in Dad’s voice in years. He had wished for something: to show Mom that he had searched out, and found, a nice place for her to live. The best place. And, of course, he wanted her to see it his way—all at once, on a grand tour, led by my father himself. And he had gotten his wish. Against all odds, Mom sat in a wheelchair for two hours in the middle of the day. She had, Dad boasted, smiled, waved, enjoyed coffee, pointed to flowers, smiled some more, responded in some fashion to his undoubtedly animated commentary, and, in his words, “really had a keen day.”

All this in two hours. A true miracle.

Love may be hard to define, but it’s not hard to recognize when you see it. Those who saw Mom and Dad tooling down the halls of the nursing home that day saw love. In action. And I heard it in Dad’s voice that night. I would hear it again each time he told the story of the wheelchair ride.

From the Giver of all good gifts, love given and received and given and received. From my Father to my father. From my father to my mother.

For love at once immediate and eternal, we thank You, Lord.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17 NKJV).

About Kathleen Brown

  • Advertisement

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

Prove You\'re Human: *