(ROCKWALL, TX — February 5, 2018) How difficult do you find it to have a relationship with someone who isn’t there…or doesn’t appear to be there; isn’t responding back to you or can’t find their words? (Don’t tell me it’s your husband!)
This is a serious question. It’s a question our Broadmoor families ask every day. Even our staff has to ask themselves the same question. Can they be content to continue to care with grace for those who never think to say, “thank you”?
I find myself trying to think of things to say, always hoping for a clear, present response. Upon occasion something funny comes out that has nothing to do with my comment. I must be content. But should I keep trying, talking, expecting clarity to reign?
It’s like ringing the doorbell, hearing them moving around in there, but no one comes to the door…as if no one’s home. You know they’re home because doors close and lights go on and off, but they don’t answer the door.
There used to be great times of conversation, exchange of ideas and opinions…even disagreements. But the words became fewer and fewer, even confusing. It got quieter and more isolated, and soon disappeared altogether. It’s hard to maintain a viable relationship without conversation. Conversations keep us connected; keep us thinking about each other; longing for fruitful discourse.
Here’s the rub. She’s still Mother. She still invested her life in me, contributing 50% of who I am genetically and more like 80% of who I am emotionally, and 100% of who I am spiritually. She invested Jesus in me. That’s Eternal. There are not enough words to express the value of that investment. It’s that investment that stirs me on to realize the value of the souls at Broadmoor who can no longer contribute to their relationships of long standing. It’s her investment that pours out words of blessing to our staff who care for her and others who have long since lost the ability to care for themselves or to say thank you.
So consequently, I’ll keep talking, sharing letters, news of family, phrases that we have rehearsed together like, “Love you more.” It enables me to know how the Lord feels when He calls me and no one is home. I have the ability to hear and respond, but because I don’t want to hear what He has to say, I pretend. Mother doesn’t pretend. Oh, occasionally she’ll play possum, but soon comes up with a smile. Like the Lord, I’ll keep calling, encouraging, needing communication with the one I love. Because He doesn’t stop, neither will I, and hopefully neither will you.
By Paula Lively. Paula is a Volunteer Chaplain at Broadmoor Medical Lodge in Rockwall. She is a VERY retired RN who loves serving the residents at Broadmoor. She and her husband, Fred, have lived in Rockwall for 15 years.
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