“What if? What if?” I could hear my mother’s voice asking this question over and over again in her bedroom. Her voice winced with pain as she tried to get out of bed. “What if? What if? What if?”
Pushing aside the privacy drapery that serves as her makeshift bedroom door, I came to her bedside and asked if she needed help. She replied, “No,” gently adding, “I’m just asking myself ‘what if’.”
This was a question she had not asked before, so I said, “What if, what, Momma?”
“What if I can’t get out of bed anymore? What if my legs stop working?”
I asked, “Do you need my help?”
“No,” came her reply, “I think I can do it myself. But, what if I can’t?”
With the most reassuring voice I could proffer, I said, “If you can’t, I can help you.” I could tell Momma really didn’t want my help right now, that she wanted to do this herself, so I stepped out into the kitchen, telling her I would be nearby if she needed help.
As I sat at the kitchen table, I let my mind go there.
There, on that day when her brain could no longer tell her legs and feet what to do, or make her voice form the words to ask for help.
Yes, I went there. That place of uncertainty regarding the future.
Strangely, I felt a sense of peace.
I cannot see what lies ahead of us on this journey with Alzheimer’s. But I know this to be true; God has always been there, and He always will be there. What blessed assurance.