Friday, October 2, 2009
The Hard Process of Aging
My mother-in-law is 93. She's been a strong woman all her life-raised by Dutch immigrants who barely had two nickels to rub together. She spent most of her married life taking care of a husband with a bad heart, losing him 20 years ago. She raised five kids with nothing, and made it taste good. My sister-in-law always said she would eat Grandma's baking mistakes any day. She didn't retire until she was over 70.
In the last six years, since I lost my mom, Grandma Liz and I have become very close. We spend a lot of time talking as I drive her to appointments or church. She was there when tiny Gracie had her first real bath in the NICU. All my grandkids are crazy about her-she and Sydney have the cutest banter in the back seat on the way home from church.
Now age is catching up with her. The forgetfulness started slowly but as time goes by it picks up speed, kind of like a snowball down a steep hill. She is discouraged because she can't see and her body is starting to fail her. The spot on her lung is getting bigger and we wonder if it's going to be the last straw or if she can overcome that too. It's so hard to watch.
My mom left quickly, the victim of a car accident. Do we want Grandma Liz to go quickly so she won't have to spend time suffering, or do we want to hang on to her as long as possible? Only God knows the answer, so I'm praying for Him to tell me what to pray for.