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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
- introducing a conditional clause.
synonyms: on (the) condition that, provided (that), presuming (that), supposing (that), assuming (that), as long as, given that, in the event that
My sweet mother suffers a heart attack. :(
She calls it an "episode."
Sick with concern, I take my city roads to her country roads. East Texas, where farm roads laugh hysterically at Google Maps. The thought bubble over my head depicts my sister insisting: Remember, you're in the country. All the trees look alike. You can't count on internet service, so write the directions down."
I arrive on the scene with a dieng iphone and mounting resentment towards my teenage son, who lost my charger just ten days after my over-priced Apple purchase.
My mother is fragile and stubborn in equal measure. She's on the cardiac floor of the hospital where NO SALT is the name of the game. The first thing my sister says to me is, "Do you know about Mom's contraband? She has barbecue Lays potatoes chips stashed in that dresser drawer."
"Mom, you gotta stay off the salt."
The sun goes down. The sun comes up. Leeland, my sister's partner stops by to drop off my mom's favorite fuzzy jammies. This cheers her up as she is now on a liquid diet due to her pending heart catherterization and now claims to be starving to death. For a brief moment it appears as if she is willing to take better care of herself. That is until Leeland announces that he's heading out to get some lunch.
Mom: What are you going to eat?
Leeland: I don't want to tell you that. You can't eat right now.
Mom: It's okay. It doesn't bother me.
Leeland: Well, probably some chicken fried steak.
Mom: Leeland, put a roll in your pocket.
This, from a woman who graduated from nursing school with honors when I was in high school. Did her I.Q. drop when her blood pressure went up? Not just no, but heck no! So what's the deal? She wants to heal. The challenge is that her every day choices now work against her better tomorrow. Literally--her, better . . . tomorrow. She can no longer count on the time-worn paths of her every day life.
I think of my own life. My desires to get better and stay better, all up against the only roads I've ever taken with the only version of myself I've ever known. It's frightening.
I pray for my mother. I don't shame her for struggling to break up with potato chips even though they've never treated her right. I don't say, "Don't you want to get better?" (Of course she does.) I pray she is filled with the courage to add something that is good for her every day life as Love tempers the desire for all things that work against it. I pray this one step, whatever it is, will open her eyes to see that the hard choices she faces are for her--not merely her cholesterol level, but for her. An older woman so very worth new, and therefore, scary new actions that lead to restoration.
This is a lesson of self-love I try hard to embrace:
Love does not insist on what we convince ourselves we must have. Love refines trajectory. It transforms us in spite of how we see ourselves and the people around us. And somewhere along the way we find ourselves empowered to take baby steps in the opposite direction of what is not in our best interest.
Heart attacks. Heart breaks. The causes vary.
Identify ONE step in the direction of your personal worth and future well-being.
What if you take it?
Published on Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 12:10 PM CDT