I was born in a small town hospital and lived in an old white farmhouse for my first four years. I hardly remember anything about that house. There are a couple of snapshots in my head, but that’s about all. I had two older sisters and one older brother; he was still a baby himself when I came into this world. I know my Mom was busy with all those kids. Another sister was born three years later. It’s a wonder she got any sleep at all. They didn’t have baby monitors back then. She just listened for our cries.
I had four babies of my own. For the first three, I too just listened during the night. I didn’t sleep soundly in those days. The least little whimper from those kiddos, and I was wide awake. I spent many nights in a comfy recliner, rocking babies and making promises to God if He would only make them sleep. By the time our fourth and last baby was born, I had a baby monitor system. I don’t know that we really needed it. After all, I had never slept through a baby’s cry. And the monitor only intensified every single burp and gurgle. I think I got less sleep with that contraption.
Funny how life circles back around. I’m lying in bed listening to my mom over a recently installed monitor. I can hear her trying to get settled; a few grunts and several deep sighs. I just tucked her into bed and turned off the light. I don’t “tuck her in” every night. She has been pretty independent, however, she is struggling right now. Her legs are like noodles; not sure why. As she was getting ready for bed, she dropped her hearing aid. After bending or squatting to get it, she couldn’t get back up. Thankfully, I was keeping watch in the hallway. “Mom, you okay? Do you need help?” My husband and I easily stood her back up. I know she hates this. She hates being weak and dependent on anyone.
After she was done in the bathroom, I walked her back into the bedroom, and helped her into bed. “Mom, please call me if you need to get up during the night. Your legs are a little wobbly today. Please let me help you. I don’t mind getting up”. I know she hates that too. She doesn’t want to be a burden. And she is not — no more than I was when I lived in her home and I needed her.
So as I listen over this monitor, waiting for her to fall asleep, emotion overtakes me and I begin to cry. I let the tears freely fall and grieve for my Mom. I’m worried about her.
I won’t sleep soundly tonight. And that’s okay.
Lord, help me to enrich my Mom’s life. I don’t want the days to just slip by. I don’t want to get so caught up in the daily care of her body that I forget to nurture her spirit as well. Lord, I love my Mom. Help me to bless her.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.