Family Reunion, Ben Carson, and Chemistry

I had a tough day with Mama. We have discovered that following a large family gathering, there is much confusion. Everyone means well and loves her so much but it is a simple case of over-stimulation. In kindness, nieces and nephews come to her with hugs and kisses and pure motives of explanation to connect her with themselves. It is sweet and lovely and unraveling.

We spent much of this morning going over names and faces, trying to connect which one of her eight brothers and sisters to whom this one or that one belong. I patiently explain but it does not permeate the concrete parts of her brain. 

Quite often, Mama confuses generations. She believers that children of her siblings are actually her siblings, still living and young. She occasionally thinks I am her younger sister, which, of course, makes it impossible that I could be her daughter.

The morning melted into noon and both of us ended up in (soft) tears as we talked about what to make for lunch. 

By early afternoon, I was able to keep her busy with some outside chores. She pulled weeds out of my brick-paved sidewalks and swept my front porch till every piece of dirt and flower petal and pebble were gone. 

She then talked on the phone with both of my sisters and by dinner, she was a bit more cheery. 

In the evening, there was some family tension in the house with my youngest son, Noah, struggling though chemistry summer school. It’s a bear. He has been working very hard, yet it still brings great frustration.

Mama loves my boys, for which I am so grateful. She saw (and heard) Noah’s struggle, which hurt her. In God’s kingdom, He is able to turn something difficult into something good. Mama forgot about her own troubles for a while. She focused on someone else. 

Though, it was momentary. A few minutes later, we were sitting on the front porch, eating a bowl of chocolate salted caramel ice-cream (hey, she likes it) and she stated that she was very worried about her plastic Adirondack chairs sitting on her fenced in, canopy-covered back deck. I said: “Mama, forget about those chairs! No one will steal them while you are with me.” She looked at me defensively. “Let’s pray for Noah tonight and not worry about those chairs, for goodness sake!” 

I snapped her back to reality.

After helping her put on pajamas and brush her teeth, with her own toothbrush, not one of the boys this time, we sat on the edge of her bed and prayed. I held her hand and listened while she smoothly and beautifully and flawlessly called out to the Lord for help and strength for Noah and for all of her grandchildren. It was as if she were 70 years old again. 

I then prayed and first, thanked God for the blessing to sit and pray with my 90 year-old mama. What a gift it truly is. 

I tucked her into bed and told her I loved her. She (mostly) smiled and said she would read a bit of her Dr. Ben Carson biography (on whom she has a mad crush) but would then fall asleep in continued prayer mode.

Fair enough. 

Author: Rebecca Hendrixson

Hello, I'm Rebecca. I am a wife and mother and freelance writer. I love to share honest thoughts, anecdotes, incidents and encouragement. I am documenting my one year of being 60 years old. Join me on the journey. And please leave comments or send me an email. I will respond. We are all in this together. Come be my comrade.

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