Clinging to the Gift of Communion

December 4, 2022 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Diane Mayfield –

The woman I knew as my mother is slowly slipping away. Alzheimer’s disease claims her mind. She no longer answers her phone. She either doesn’t hear it or doesn’t know what it is. She’s unaware of the day, the year or the season. She can’t work her air conditioning unit in her room. Recently she has given up putting on eye make up and she never remembers her hair appointments. She wears the same clothes every day, not really seeing all the others in her closet. These aren’t really the important issues but they are telling of the changes in her.

She doesn’t know her grandchildren. She confuses me with my sister. Lately she thinks my brother is her husband, my dad who has been dead for 20 years. She lives in the past, thinking she is 45, instead of 86. When I walk outside with her, she asks, “Where is my car?” Then we begin the loop discussion about her car. She hasn’t had one for five years, but she can’t remember that.

It’s all so very sad but only for me and my brother and sister, really. It’s not sad for my mom. She doesn’t know that she’s forgotten. Her reality is just what it is, the world as she knows today.

Gone are the shopping days, sharing of holidays at the family gatherings and talking about the grandchildren and what they are doing. She cannot engage in conversation. Oh, at times, I can direct her attention to the changing color of the leaves or the children getting out of school. But then we go back to the same conversation loop about her car that no longer exists. There is no communication, no engaging in life together, no connecting. And yet, she is still the woman who gave birth to me. She is still my mother.

What am I to learn from this sad reality in my relationship with my mother? To live without communication is empty. It sucks the life out of me. This is a slow death with my mom and I am helpless to change it.

However, there is a parental relationship that I can do something about. It’s my bond with my Heavenly Father. That relationship never has to die. His salvation brings me into a connection with Him. He becomes my Father for all eternity. Nothing can change that. But to stop there with no communication, no conversation with Him, no connecting in prayer would be like death, though I live. I have the assurance of eternity, but that’s not enough for me. I have to have more. I have to be in communion with Him.

Once again I’ve learned a valuable lesson from my mother. Not one she would have liked to teach me if she had a choice. In the absence of real communion with my mother, I’ve seen the immeasurable value in constant communing with my Lord. I never want to lose that. I don’t want to experience a slow death there.

In this New Year, I’m clinging to the gift of prayer that makes it possible for me to have constant interaction with my Father. My goal for the New Year is to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV), receiving the gift of constant communion with my Lord.

About Diane Mayfield

Diane, a follower of Jesus, has a Bachelor of Journalism Degree, a Master’s Degree in Education with a specialty in counseling and is a Certified Coach. Married for 35 years and after raising three children, she returns to one of her first loves-writing.
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