Sunday morning service. Can you sit with me?
What was I scared of?
Last Sunday, the service kicked off with a reading of Dr. Seuss’s What was I scared of? (Spooky pale green pants with nobody inside ’em.) The service continued with readings from Jesus Christ Superstar songs that sometimes drifted into melody and verses from Jesus’s last days. Children’s stories, humor, songs, and big-little messages. A great service. I paused to tell the guest minister that I enjoyed it on my way out.
The service was good, but I didn’t take it personally.
Yet the last words (Just sit with me) sat with me. Even as the Sunday hours ticked off, I could feel the weight of those words. Just sit with me. As I worked my way through the days of the week, my head worked backwards through the service, deconstructing the parts (love, compassion, powerlessness, fear). By Friday, the service was mine. That guest minister was speaking to me.
Keep watch with me.
That’s all he asked. He didn’t require that they fix anything. They needn’t rescue him from the dark journey. Just sit with me. But they didn’t. They fell asleep.
I get it. Even if they had wanted to do something, what could they possibly do? I get shutting down in the face of fear and powerlessness. But he didn’t ask them to do anything. All he requested was, “Keep watch with me.”
I’ll sit with you.
I feel helpless in the face of the Alzheimer’s bull that bullies my mom. How can I fix this? I can’t, nor can I change the course of her journey. I can, however, sit with her.
She’s afraid. I’m afraid.
What was I scared of? examines fear on many different levels. Fear of other, fear of difference, fear of change. We’re all afraid.
There is very little I can do, and I know I can’t protect her from that bull, but I can sit with her. That’s something. And perhaps in this situation, it’s everything.
©Copyright 2018 Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved
What a wonderful post! My mother died of dementia and sitting with her was about all I could do. I know the fear and the frustration on both your and your mother’s part. Its so hard. God bless, Brenda
Absolutely beautiful, Pennie! And what a wonderful sermon! My Mom suffered with Parkinson’s–very Alzheimer-like in its final stages. I remember how frightened she was, especially in her early days. (Her father had also passed away from complications of this disease) We all felt so helpless. But my dad led the way by example. He sat with her. And so did we.
I am taking comfort in the little I can do because I understand more and more how much it means to her.
Thank you, Pennie…beautiful.
As a Hospice Social Worker your words are so true. I have to remind myself that I just need to sit with them. Thanks for the reminder.