In my struggles to find activities that will keep mom busy or to occupy her time, one of my goals is for her to enjoy what we do. So, each morning after a nice breakfast, we walk. I sometimes catch her looking around – which can be dangerous since she does not watch where she is walking! But she will exclaim as if seeing her surroundings for the first time (every time), how pretty the neighborhood is and how large the houses are. She thought one of the houses was a church and another an apartment building because she mistook the windows for doors.
But, this morning she looked up at me over her plate of egg and toast and actually smiled saying, “So, where are we going today?” You could have pushed me over with a feather. First, she initiated! Second, she smiled! Third, she was looking forward to going somewhere!
It wasn’t until we had walked and I was getting a shower that it hit me. My mother doesn’t care where we go or what we do. All she cares about it is that it is with me. She simply would like that I take her with me wherever I go. Isn’t that the way it is with many things? God simply wants us to delight in Him (Ps. 37:4) – not in what He gives or His work, but Him. I want my family to like spending time with me. According to author Gary Chapman, we communicate love through five love languages. Of these, time, works of service, words of affirmation and physical touch are what mom is responding to. She may not see so well, hear so well, taste or smell so well, but her heart somehow knows. I believe that is what breakfast was all about.
She may not look like she enjoys herself, but she has someone to follow. She is included. She is still needed and wanted.