My mom celebrated another birthday. Actually, one of my sisters said everyone else was celebrating it, and Mom was wondering who all the people were.
We have a custom. When one of us five girls is not there for a group shot, a stuffed animal sits in our place. This time the two of us who live too far away to attend are there in the photo frames. Sister # 3 is holding my picture (#1). Sister #2 is holding #4's picture and #5's three-year-old son. And next to Mom is Sister #5 with her 15-month old daughter on her lap.
We continue to be thankful and amazed that Mom has not suffered the usual pain that accompanies cancer. Her decline has been gradual, and much slower than the doctors first supposed it would be. She can still eat regular table food, but someone has to feed her. She cannot stand and walk, and since she's always been one to get up and down all the time, I'm sure this is very hard for her. Also, she can no longer use the toilet, so one of my constant prayers is that her caregivers are keeping her clean and dry. The hardest of all is that my mother is pretty much incoherent now. It seems as though nobody understands anything she says.
The last time I visited her was last year for her 76th birthday. I'm sad that I cannot go there and sit with her now, but I am relieved that she is in good hands. And she is in Good Hands, too. She is baptized, and she believes that the One Who died for her on the cross, Jesus the Christ, has taken her punishment for all her sins. And while she is weepy quite a lot these days, soon she will cry no more. Glory be to God.