It's Friday. It's another five minutes of free writing with Lisa-Jo Baker.
She shivers in her wheelchair to the hum of the oxygen flowing. She is shrinking, this strong woman who has held her family together for decades. She cries.
And unlike the game of this cruel journey that often keeps me guessing, this time I know why. She is afraid.
Mr. L. is hollering. He yells obscenities and threats. With each she becomes more afraid.
In the safety of her special surroundings, this place designed for her and the Alzheimer's and memory care residents like her, there is fear.
I tell her it is okay- that he won't hurt her. I know she is safe but she has forgotten. For her the threats are real.
I think about Jesus and our journey together. I'm safe in this place- life- he designed for me. He tells me I'm in the palm of His hand and no one can get me. He tells me I am safe under His wings. I am safe with Him, but the threats of life feel so real. And sometimes I forget. Sometimes I'm afraid.
I take her back to her room and we drown out Mr. L's yelling with her favorite song, Old Dog. My heart breaks as I watch her. She is lost somewhere between her own skin and Fincastle, VA and she just wants her boys. Through her tears she asks-
Is Dale okay? Where's Rex? Did you talk to Steve?
I try to console her and I am sad that the understanding is gone for her- she is held captive by her fear.
So I just keep reminding her that I love her, and promise it will be okay.
And I leave her feeling afraid that I failed her.
You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; Your shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Happy Friday y'all!