"When joy and sadness meet
...this life is bittersweet."
Bittersweet by Moxy Fruvous
My husband got a text from his sister on Friday.
She said their mother wasn't doing well,
not eating, not drinking, not staying awake.
The caregiver at the private care home where their mother lives thought we should come.
We've grieved the loss of her for some years now.
Alzheimers stole her away.
She hasn't known who any of us are for quite some time.
At least her mind doesn't know who we are,
but it seems like something in her spirit knows we are connected.
When we walked into her room, she woke up, started smiling, and tried her best to talk to us,
though very little of it made any sense.
Yet, the fact that she was smiling, chuckling at times, enjoying us being there,
was the sweet in the midst of the bitter of this devastating disease.
It didn't take long for her to be worn out and to go back into a deep sleep.
We were able to enjoy lunch and some good conversation with my husband's sister.
Afterwards, my husband and I drove and enjoyed the beauty of summer-like weather in April on Puget Sound.
Time with my husband's sister, time together, the beauty of this place, the warm weather,
more sweet in the midst of the bitter.
(Kim Klassen's waterfront-1 texture, lighten, 15% opacity)
The next day our three daughters, with our youngest grandson tagging along, drove up.
Again, their grandma woke up, smiled, and tried to talk to them when they came into her room.
Seeing my girls speak to her about good memories they recalled with her,
seeing them kiss her and tell her goodbye in case they don't see her again in this life,
was definitely bittersweet.
On our way home, we all stopped for a short time to let our grandson play at the park on Lake Washington.
Seattle and the Olympic mountains could be clearly seen across the lake.
My daughters getting to enjoy some time together, us getting to have some time with our three girls,
our youngest grandson supplying us all with plenty of reasons to smile,
She's our last living parent.
We've been through the bitterness of loss before,
but each time there is the sweetness in the midst of the goodbye.
There's the sweetness of the assurance that this life is not all their is.
There's the sweetness of knowing that sorrow and suffering will one day be over.
There's the sweetness of family love and connection and support.
There's the sweetness of God's love and comfort and the sense of His presence.
And, in this case, there was the beauty of two unusually summer like days in April,
in this beautiful place.