The Tenderness of Loving the Helpless Ones

“Can I have a drink of water?” she asks. I know by now it’s simply her way of retaining my attention, but I look into her trusting, loving eyes, and I can’t deny her yet another drink of water, even though the bed will be wet in the morning, and I realize there will be a spill. I always happens

When I give her water she says she’s cold, and so I cover her better and set up the humidifier. She thanks me sweetly for the water and asks if I will lie on the bed beside her for a minute, that’s she’s still cold. I lay beside her and wrap my arms around her and let her know everything’s going to be okay. I know she’s frightened. I don’t know how to belay her fears besides letting her know I love her.

“See that picture up there on the wall?” she asks. “Who is that?

Because she cannot walk, I bring the picture down and show it to her. There’s her brother Charlie, her brother Irwin celebrating my birthday party. I was three at the time. Mom was almost 33. You do the math.

How many times has she brought me water when I wanted a little more attention at night? How many times have I crawled into bed and had my mother’s loving warms wrap around me and let me know it’s going to be okay?

It’s my turn. She’s afraid, and I can do nothing but make sure as many of her fears, her confusion, the symptoms of her dementia are  belayed, and she knows she’s loved, and that  I have no doubt her fears will come to nothing. It’s a blessing beyond anything I ever expected in this time of our lives. It will stay with me forever.


About alexanderhodde

We love to hike, we love to read, and we love to write. We are active in a small house church that recently moved into a building that was once a parts store, so life is fun and exciting for us.
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5 Responses to The Tenderness of Loving the Helpless Ones

  1. Jon says:

    Just a quick thought & when I say this I’m no expert & someone else may have pointed it out. I did spot a typo in paragraph 1 – last sentence. Im guessing “I always happens” is meant to read “It always happens”. Also should paragraph 1 & 2 be joined? “It always happens when I give her water… To me this reads better? Just a thought.”


  2. Jon says:

    Your husband maybe interested in checking out Adam Butlers Facebook page. Adam flies model aircraft himself. Sorry it appears I may have misread the 2nd paragraph.


  3. Maureen Lang says:

    What a memorable picture you’ve drawn here – you won’t be the only one who won’t forget this! (Sometimes I forget that care-giving can be a blessing!)
    Thanks so much for sharing.


  4. Sarah Goebel says:

    How precious is the mother-daughter relationship! May God strengthen you, dear sister, and continue to bless you as you care for your mom and direct your steps in making decisions along the journey concerning her care. My mother went to be with the Lord September 30th, 2006. I do miss her so!


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