Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Death or the Wood between the worlds

Lately I've been reading to my mom - it's a new way of interacting with her. It has been really enjoyable for both of us. It only seemed fitting to start off by reading the Chronicles of Narnia to her - as she first read it to me years ago. 

We've started with "Magicians Nephew" and I'd forgotten how much fun this story is. How beautiful as well. The story centers around a young boy (the Magicians Nephew) and his friend, Polly, as they end up discovering a new world - or really they discover a place between worlds that gives them access to other worlds. This place between worlds is a forest, and called "The Wood between the Worlds." The description of this place is hauntingly beautiful and stuck out to me for a few reason. 
The next thing Digory knew was that there was a soft green light coming down on him from above, and darkness below.  He didn't seem to be standing on anything, or sitting or lying.  Nothing appeared to be touching him.  "I believe I'm in water," said Digory.  "Or under water."  This frightened him for a second, but almost at once he could feel that he was rushing upwards.  Then his head suddenly came out into the air and he found himself scrambling ashore, out on to the smooth grassy ground at the edge of the pool.
As he rose to his feet he noticed that he was neither dripping nor panting for breath as anyone would expect after being under water.  His clothes were perfectly dry.  He was standing by the edge of a small pool - not more than ten feet from side to side - in a wood.  The trees grew close together and were so leafy that he could get no glimpse of the sky.  All the light was green light that came through the leaves: but there must have been a very strong sun overhead, for this green daylight was bright and warm.  It was the quietest wood you could possibly imagine.  There were no birds, no insects, no animals, and no wind.  You could almost feel the trees growing.  The pool he had just got out of was not the only pool.  There were dozens of others - a pool every few yards as far as his eyes could reach.  You could almost feel the trees drinking the water up with their roots.  This wood was very much alive.  When he tried to describe it afterwards Digory always said: "It was a rich place: as rich as plumcake."
C.S. Lewis – The Magicians Nephew

I've struggled with the concept of death, especially as my mothers journey leads her closer and closer there. It's so unknown! I trust that when God says Heaven is a place we want to be and that we get to be with Him for eternity that it is true, but it's so foreign and so unknown. It scares me to think of her going there. 

I don't doubt that Heaven will be amazing. My mom knows God and she will get to be with Him. But I can't wrap my head around it - I can't imagine it. As we read the description of the wood between the worlds it struck me that while I couldn't imagine Heaven it had to be at least as beautiful as this in between world (though most likely much much better). To think of my mom in that peaceful wood, restful and happy, rather than living with a disease was so cheering. It gave me a glimpse of the freedom that will exist for her on the other side. 

My mom is not meant for a speechless life. She was not built to be restricted by her body, unable to do even the simplest thing. She was created with purpose and for many many years she lived that out and now, that she can no longer do those things, it is a hard adjustment. Reading to my mom yesterday (as she lay comfortably in her bed and I sat next to her) I had a sad moment of imagining her gone but it hit me that she will also be free. She will be able to talk and sing and love people - as she has done so beautifully here.

Can I brag about my mom for a second? [This is a one sided conversation so you can't say no!] My mom can't really talk. My mom can't really do most things. She's scared to be in a home with weird people and gets pretty bored. You know what though? The workers there love her - she makes their day better and easier. She laughs so much and you can hear it ringing in the halls. She has made three new friends, all speechless women. These women are sad and scared - but when they are sad or crying mom will walk right up to them, put her hand on their back and rub their backs until they stop crying. My mom can't talk or do things but she still offers love and comfort. I'm crying just thinking about it - what sort of woman she must be. God has created someone so beautiful in her. 

I don't know where to leave this. I don't know if it helps anyone else that I write about this journey with my mom. Recently I read this most beautiful post about dealing with loss and pain and why as Christians we would talk about it. I can't shake the feeling that I need to share our journey with honesty and faith - that others would not feel alone and that God would be glorified. Because He is good and He is kind and He is with my mom. That, I am sure of. 
*I've written about the topic of my Mom's Alzheimers here and here and here before*
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Esther said...

I hope you continue to write about this journey with your mom. Not only does it give people a real idea on how to be there for you and how to pray but it is a good outlet for you to be so honest. Love and Prayers, Esther

Paraphrase said...

This is absolutely beautiful!

PMorgan said...

You are such a great writer Babe. What a beautiful tribute to your mother.


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