Sweet Sabbath Experiencesby Jim

10:03 pm

Mom continues to get weaker each day. Yesterday we weren’t able to get her to eat or drink much of anything, but today we were much more diligent (especially Dad) in making sure Mom was hydrated. We really don’t want to put in an IV unless we need to, and as long as Mom can still swallow, we’ll keep giving her water instead. Mom was really a trooper and drank sip by sip throughout the day. Several times, Dad explained to her that we know it’s hard for her to keep drinking, but we want to keep her comfortable. She gave no indication of a response, so one of the times, Dad turned to Angie and said, “Well, at least she’s not resisting.” Angie replied, “That’s because she thinks you’re irresistible!” Mom’s eyebrow quirked up and her eyes widened a bit, making it clear that she had heard and understood the quip, and enjoyed it.

We listened to the soundtrack of Rob Gardener’s Lamb of God this morning. It is amazing how much the meaning of that beautiful music has deepened for us over the last year. We’ve faced some difficult challenges, and our testimony in the comforting and enabling power of the Atonement has been strengthened. There are times in our lives when our circumstances have a bitter sting, but we are never alone: the Savior Himself felt overwhelmed by what he was called to bear, and asked if the cup could pass from Him. But He endured and overcame, making it possible for us to do the same. Mom knows this, and we’re continuing to learn from her.

Rachel arrived this morning and she sat with Mom and told her some memories from her childhood. Afterwards, Angie, Rachel, and I sang to Mom for a bit. She got sleepy and so we let her nap for a couple hours after lunch. I’m pretty sure I got a faint smile from her after she woke up and Dad was giving her more water.

Something very special happened this afternoon when the young men from the ward came to bring us the sacrament. We were under the impression it was going to be just a few boys, but we probably had 16 young men in our living room. They started by singing a hymn and then administered the sacrament. Three of the boys were in Boy Scout uniform and after the sacrament, each of the three sat down next to Mom to personally express their gratitude for Mom’s service in helping them achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. One of the young men was very emotional and couldn’t hold back the tears. It was very touching to see the love these young men have for my mom. Dad said a few words on Mom’s behalf about her experiences in the calling. He said it was difficult for her — in fact, probably the hardest calling she’s had — but that she persevered, faithfully served, and now she has left a legacy in this ward that will continue to bless their young men for many years.

It is getting to the point that we can’t get any response out of her most of the time. Instead of nodding or shaking her head, she usually will just look at us. We’re also not sure how much her memory loss has progressed, though she continues to recognize family and friends. We were talking about Mom’s memory and someone asked Mom, “Do you remember you’re amazing?” We all we saw her faint nod, which made us all laugh.

This evening we sang to Mom again and we were able to sing 4-part harmonies. With five of us here, I got to sing bass with Joseph, which was fun. We sang some Easter hymns and some Christmas hymns tonight before sending Mom to bed. Since Joseph and Rachel just got here, the two of them sat with Mom in her bedroom to chat with her and sing a little more before Mom fell asleep.

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