In Loving Memory Of:
Lois J. Woodin (Vicki’s Mother)
5/3/1922 – 1/8/2016
When Memories Fade
“Obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right”, Ephesians 6:1. When teaching kindergarten, my students recited this with zeal, which brought great joy to their parents! The very next verse says to honor them, so that it may be well with you. For years I have been asking the Lord to guide me in this truth.
Since my daddy died over ten years ago, I share the responsibility of caring for my elderly mom. I recall his words, as he was lying there, struggling for breath, “take care of your mother, will you please”. It has been a privilege and a joy, despite the struggles and changes that have taken place. She raised me. She loved me and today I honor my mom.
She sits quietly; her frail body nestled in her favorite chair. Gazing at the bookshelf full of pictures of her family, the memories unfold. A handsome Navy WWII soldier, her husband of fifty-nine years is right next to a photo of her, taken the year they met. She never dreamed that seventy-three years later she would still be here. Also on the shelf are nicely framed pictures of her six children and their families, creating a collage of sorts. Happy times, those images captured the love displayed.
My mom is ninety-three. Many seasons of her life are represented on this shelf. It is evident it brings her great joy.
Yet, dementia has taken its' toll. I am reminded that day that she struggles to recall many special events. I asked her, "How did you meet dad?" She pauses, grabbing for an answer, but comes up empty. "You met at the roller skating rink, don't you remember, Mom? He was tall and handsome with bright blue eyes. He swept you off your feet!" I said. With slight prompting, she recalls, silence.
My question sparked her thoughts, thus she displayed a puzzled look. "I had six children, right?" she asked. "Yes, Mom," I replied. She taps her knee. "Your oldest was a boy then next you had your first girl". "She died, right?” she asked. "Yes, Mom," I said. "How old was she and how?" she asked. I answer and the memories come flooding back. "She drowned at age 23." "Oh yes, now I remember. That was hard", she whispers.
After several more questions about her third and fourth daughters, she asks "And I had twins, didn't I...a boy and a girl... aren't you one of them?" I nod gently and reply, "Yes, Mom I am child number six, your twin girl."
Overwhelmed by emotions, I turn away to hide my tears. She is content for now, smiling yet her gaze shows the confusion. "Why can't I remember?" she asks. I reply, "It is okay, Mom. I will help you remember."
My visits are difficult and getting harder. Tears streamed down my face as I drove away, heading home. Many thoughts whirled around in my head, yet I was comforted as I realized, at least she still knows my name. For that I am so very thankful.
More importantly, she still knows HIS name. Often, we talk about the Lord. She says," Jesus has always brought me peace and has never left my side. Soon I will meet Him."
Though memories fade, her relationship with Jesus never will. The bible says in Proverbs 18:24, "Jesus sticks closer than a brother".
How about you, do you know Him?