A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on the front porch with mother. It was time for me to say goodbye and head off to work. We suddenly spied a car coming around the curve as if it was coming to the house. Now mother knows every car that passes by, but this car was different and it was traveling slow as if it was turning in. Mother says, "I believe it's turning," and I said "I believe you're right!" As we watched the tan colored car make its way up the drive, we had already decided that it was mother's sister-in-law, Kay. One would have to know Kay to understand what a fun person she is and why mother seemed so delighted. You probably know someone in your life like her, from the moment you first met, you automatically felt that you had known this person all your life. That's the way it is with Kay. She's a retired school teacher, a mother and very loving grandmother, but unfortunately lives out of town. Kay had come to visit for a couple of days. There's only a few people that mother enjoys spending time with and Kay is one of them. I must admit, this would give me a needed break for a couple of days as well.
As I said my goodbyes to Kay and mother, I could see the wheels turning in mothers head, "Where will we go to eat?" "What will we do?" "How long will she be staying?"
Later that day, I gave Kay a call and arranged to leave mother's medications in the front seat of her car the next morning on my way to work so Kay could give them to her and I would be sure not to wake them so early. As I drove up, I hurriedly jumped out and quietly opened her car door and shut it back without a peep, hopped back in my car and as I was turning, noticed the garage door slowly opening. There was mother. I called out to her to go back in the house that I was just checking on things. You see, all my life I have prided myself as a truth teller. For several years, I would tell mother everything, even though I knew it would be easier to tell a few half truths. People even told me to just make something up and tell her things and she'd never know the difference, but because I felt like I would be betraying her, I continued to tell the truth. Well, let me tell you, things have changed. I do believe that God will forgive me for some of the things I have had to come up with in the past year or so. A little ill that mother had nabbed me, but glad she obeyed and went right back in, I headed off to work. Kay and mother had a wonderful day, thrift store shopping, eating out, talking and laughing. It was a special visit.
Kay had told me that she would be leaving that afternoon around 4:00 pm, so I didn't check on mother until 6:00 pm. I called and as usual, she was on the porch. I asked what time Kay had left and she told me 4:00 pm. She proceeded to tell me about the good time they had and that she was missing her. I assured her that she would be back someday soon, said our goodbyes and hung up.
The next morning, when I arrived at mothers, she met me at the door whispering with a look on her face like a child who had seen Santa. She said in a small voice, "Shh...you know I have a visitor," Well, as I've said before, I am a total chicken for scary things, and believe you me, that was pretty scary. I eventually got up my nerve and said, "Who is it?" She said still in her small voice, "Kay." I said, "Mother, you know that Kay has gone home!" Unbelieving, mother looked at me and said, "O no she's not, she's back in the bedroom asleep." Well, I had to question myself, did I inadvertently overlook Kay's car out front or did she have car trouble on her way home and someone took her car to the shop and she came back here. Through experience, better sense took hold. I decided to creep down the darkened hallway, gently open the door and take a look. As I began, mother reminded me to be quiet that I would wake her. As I opened the bedroom door, I could see the bed still made. A quietness came over me, thinking how sad mother would be to hear that Kay had gone.
God, help me to be more aware of mother's loneliness.