Patience. Kindness. I’ve been thinking an awful lot about these attributes lately.
Especially in this era of socially acceptable impatience and rudeness. I feel like I should make the sign of the cross and wear garlic around my neck every time I sit at my computer. Yikes. I’m afraid to say anything for fear of offending someone.
And even more especially because my mother is 92 now and as she gets more forgetful and stubborn and unreasonable to deal with, I find my patience and kindness growing thinner and thinner. The old gray mare sure ain’t what she used to be. And her mama is a dadgum mule.
I hate snapping at her. My testy tone surprises even me. I don’t know where it comes from even as it comes gushing out of my mouth. Like a putrid black geyser. Yet gush it does. Frequently.
She hates it too and has asked me more than once why I’m so short with her these days.
I can hardly say, “Golly, Mama, it’s because you often repeat yourself six times within two minutes and other times you act crazier than a June bug and most of the time you won’t listen to a word I say as you charge off without your cane, staggering like a drunken sailor. You want honesty? Okay, here it is: You. Drive. Me. NUTS.”
She’s been more trying than usual this week because my sister and I reached the conclusion that Mama’s forgetfulness and receding common sense have become a crucial safety issue in her home (leaving the stove burners on/not locking doors at night/falls in the yard when she bull-headedly attempts to do yardwork – without her cane, of course, to name a few). So we helped her choose a lovely Assisted Living Facility (ALF) apartment where she will be surrounded by people watching out for her and she’ll get good meals (instead of cereal twice a day like she insists on now) and won’t be so very lonely since Daddy passed two years ago.
She thought the place was beautiful. And looked like fun. So we moved her in last Monday. And now she’s mad as a wet hornet. At least when she remembers to be.
So since my own patience and kindness – or lack thereof – have been heavy on my mind recently, a verse in Romans caught my attention this week during my quiet time: “Don’t you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don’t you care? Can’t you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin?” (Romans 2: 4 NLT).
Um, no, … I guess I haven’t realized that. At least not enough to dig deep in order to extend the same kindness, tolerance and patience to one of the most important people in my life when she needs it most.
So I’m asking for your prayers, dear BBFF (Blessed Blog Friend Forever) – especially those of you who understand the tricky nuances of dealing with aging parents. Please pray for me, that Papa God will infuse me with His supernatural power for coughing up some divine patience. Because nobody benefits when Old Faithful turns rancid.