So, today is drawing to a close, and it’s been quite hard in some ways. Trigger alert: if you don’t like mild references to the effects of childhood emotional abuse, now is the time to do something else.
After an early start, I said goodbye to my family, then travelled up to Leicestershire, with my son driving. It was interesting to note that I felt fine until I saw the first sign for the town where I was brought up, when a sharp pang of anxiety automatically shot through me.
My sister and her husband made us very welcome for lunch, then my son left, and I fell asleep, very tired after the cumulative efforts of the previous few days.
Then came the hardest part of the day: visiting my mother in her nursing home. I was alone with her for about 40 minutes. She never leaves her bed, and slept the whole time, so I sat quietly, observing both her, and my own feelings. Even though she is very old, deaf, immobile and blind, I still dreaded her waking up, or speaking, still felt she might rise up and be as she used to be. I didn’t touch her, approach her, or speak to her, but tried to pray.
My sister returned exactly when she had promised, and I left the Home with relief. Tomorrow may be harder, as I’m imagining that a cheerful staff member with a loud voice might rouse my mother. She’s so deaf that people have to shout into her ear, and that means getting close. However, I have developed the technique of keeping my arms behind my back, so she can’t get hold of me in any way. That has given me a small sense of retaining some control over allowing her to intrude on my body.
I honestly don’t know how I’d manage if it weren’t for the progress I’ve made through faith and contemplation. So for those who like such things, here is today’s evening prayer:
Facing each day
The same Spirit gives great faith to another (1 Corinthians 12:9; NLT).
It is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8; NIV).
Facing each day
Is very different
From facing it
So, thank you
For the gift
Of faith in you.