My siblings, assorted nieces and nephews, an aunt and I are still hanging around a room in a nursing home in our home town, watching Mom breath. It's excruciating and boring all at once. We've talked to her, talked around her, prayed for her, and sang to her, including one very sick rendition of "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly...I guess she'll die." When Mom coughed at the end of one verse, we all laughed and came to our senses. But mostly, we just continue to sit there and watch her breath. Wonder how on earth she can continue to breath at this point. She's a whole lot more stubborn than we ever knew.
And we snipe at each other. Yep, it's the truth. Tensions are running high here, folks, and we're not being the best of sports every minute. We're acting a little like the children we were when we were last all together in just this formation without spouses or other responsibilities to occupy our time and minds, that is, when the most important person in the world to each of us was our 'mommy'. It's not big things we're fighting over, like who'll get her house--which she disposed of years ago--or her estate--that, too, has been taken care of. No, it's just little things.
But the fact is, we're all used to being in charge of our own lives and our own families. Our parents taught us well to lead and think. There's no shrinking violet among us. Not really. We're strong capable adults, with a whole lot of brain power between us, and we're not afraid to use them. And we learned to plan at our mother's waist and our father's knee. So we each retreat to our own spaces at night and begin to plan the next day or the next big event or whatever...then we are shocked to discover that someone else has also come up with a plan that conflicts with ours.
These are tough days, filled with tension and pain and boredom and waiting and, left to our own devices, we're bent toward selfishness. Or at least I am. I suppose I should speak only for myself. As usual. I was thinking last night that the last time a majority of us were together in such a tension-filled week was the week our brother died. And similar conflicts arose. And I came to the same conclusion: that I had to lay down my life. My will. As usual. It's always the same lesson. Yet it takes a pressure cooker to actually acknowledge that I haven't accomplished this into my deep core. God calls me to lay down my wants, my desires, my plans. My ways are NOT His ways. And, above all, it's His ways that I want. Especially for Mom.
So...my prayer for the rest of this week is that i (purposely in lower-case) live with grace toward those around me, pray for His will to be done on earth, in Mom, in her living and in her dying. Her times are in HIS hands.