Walking Our Faith: Talk don’t text
Walking Our Faith
I’ve been feeling overwhelmed this week, probably because I haven’t been getting enough sleep. Twice, Mom has woken up in the middle of the night unsure of where she was and cried out for me. So I jump out of bed and rush downstairs to where she is sleeping on the couch. I sit next to her and hold her hand and reassure her that I am with her, and everything is OK. And then I sit with her until she is finally able to drift off to sleep again.
Mom moved up here last August because she could no longer live alone in her condo in Florida. I naively imagined that it would be like old times when we lived together in our house in Evergreen.
Instead, I have discovered that there is a big difference in the mind and needs of a person who is approaching her 95th birthday.
This is unknown territory for me and Mom. It is by turns sad and exhausting. Mom seems like her old self 90% of the time, but first thing in the morning and late at night — and even fleeting moments during the day — Mom becomes anxious and feels that she is losing her way, that she is not herself, but she doesn’t know what to do about it. And neither do I.
Mom loves living in the mountains with me, but my lease is up in July and the apartment I rent will be sold. I don’t know where we will move next. I don’t want to return to our house in Evergreen because it is just that, a house, whereas Breckenridge is my home. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. And I always imagined I’d grow old here.
All of this has left me feeling overwhelmed because I’m not sure how to fix it, and I don’t know where this new journey will take us. I am afraid of making a mistake, of choosing the wrong door. I keep praying for answers, and when none are evident, I pray for wisdom.
This is how I felt Tuesday morning as I sat in my office. I was so tired I wanted to cry. That’s when Maggie walked in and spoke to me with words of kindness and generosity and encouragement. She let me know I was not alone and that there were friends ready to spend a few hours with Mom when I needed time away or a meal cooked. But most of all, she was letting me know she was present with me.
After she left, I finished my work and gathered my belongings to head home. As I walked out the door, my friend Adrienne called.
Adrienne spoke as I headed from my office to the car. She wanted me to know that it was important to talk, not text, and that she had discovered how important it was to make contact with friends after her husband of 50 years died a year ago.
By the time I arrived home, I was still exhausted and wanted to lay down and take a nap, but I was also thankful. I believe God sent these two friends to offer words of kindness and comfort at a time when I dearly needed them.
And so, I would like to share this message with you, as well. You may never know how much your phone call, quick words of encouragement or a listening ear will mean to someone who is going through a difficult time. It can be the balm that soothes a hurting heart and helps someone through another day.
Don’t be afraid to reach out. It might make all the difference in that moment. I know both of these women carry their own burdens, and that’s what made their messages to me more special. I know it comes from a place of deep understanding.
I don’t know why we suffer and have our hearts broken, but I realize that if for no better reason, it is because it allows us to help someone else whose heart is breaking.
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Walking Our Faith” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books on faith. She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at email@example.com.
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