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The Gift

It's four years, although it seems so much longer, since a trip to England that Paul and I took, in January 2012. Although we didn't know it at the time, those two weeks were my goodbye on earth to my own Mum, and in retrospect, I can see how God gave us precious moments that I can look back on as a very special gift. 9 years earlier Mum had a stroke from which she recovered physically enough to live at home with supports, but not her ability to read, write, or find the words she needed to express herself. She bore this with good humour and pragmatism, and we loved her so much for who she was in this period of her life; I share this so that you'll know how much each word that she spoke meant. I wanted to share a few memories from that time, which I am so grateful to have recorded here. This is from January 24, 2012.

Prayer: it is our nightly ritual; between the carers who come from Helping Hands to help Mum to bed, and Rob, who comes downstairs to put in eye drops and administer her inhaler; all of us ministering care in different ways.

It was she who first taught me how to pray. And yet now, here I am beside her bed, and she ready for sleep first, each evening, at an hour that seems so early, but in sync with the rest of the elderly safely tucked in around the village every night.

We travel far and wide in our prayers; I saying the words, but she with me in every syllable, every name named. We pray showers of blessings on Rob for the blessing he is to Mum. He should be laden down by riches of love and warmth and health and strength if God answers even a fraction of our prayers.

We cover family here, one by one; and those in Canada, and special needs of which we are aware. And at the end each night, Mum, holding my hands, gives a squeeze and smiles with eyes and lips her sweet, "Amen."

One thing I missed each night--her prayers, for me. Selfish though it felt to even think of such a thing, in my deepest heart lived a wistful little girl who missed her mother's prayers.

But tonight at our "Amen," she squeezes my hand and says, "I must pray--for you."

I smile my overflowing gratitude; we close our eyes again, hands clasped; I wait; she tries; clear words won't come, but we both know, in the quiet God hears the heart.  Again we squeeze and say, "Amen," with smiles.

And she says with eyes of blazing love that speak more eloquently than the loveliest of words: "Every night, after we pray, I pray for you...."
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