Today everything was aligned perfectly – the appointments, the traffic and even the weather. I took the day off to spend with my Mom. We took care of her annual doctor’s appointment and then went on a field trip of sorts an hour north of her doctor’s office. Our field trip was to the Mar-Lu-Ridge Retreat Center in Jefferson, MD so I could determine first hand if it would be an acceptable location to hold our church retreats.
The doctor’s appointment went as smooth as silk, and besides from not knowing who I am and not talking as much as she used to, my Mom is in incredible health, including having the blood pressure of a 21 year old. The hour drive was great, free of any construction hangups (a nightmare when in a car with a dementia sufferer)!!! Mom for some reason didn’t ask 100 times where we were going as she normally does. She sat quietly and enjoyed the ride. We arrived at the retreat center a full 30 minutes before our scheduled appointment. To pass the time, we sat in the car and sang songs and ate raisins as we marveled over the spectacular valley that was laid out in front of us.
The tour was short and sweet. We looked at the guest rooms, the dining hall, and the awesome meeting space on the top floor of the conference center. I loved the fact that everything is in the same building. As we moved from area to area, Mom would hold my hand and then sit quietly in a chair until we moved to the next area. Even at almost 86 years old, she went up and down the stairs as if they were nothing!
The only area NOT within the conference center was the chapel. Given the fact that St. Mark’s always uses the chapel on Sunday mornings as the formal end of a weekend retreat, I wanted to see it. So we rode the two miles to the main retreat center area. Doing so was awe-inspiring! After we “toured” the breathtaking chapel, and took photos, the wonderful director (who shared that her Mother has Alzheimer’s disease) left us to look around the grounds and take more photos. We did take a few more photos, but felt drawn to return to the chapel. We held hands and just sat on the wooden pews, for maybe 10 or 15 minutes. I silently thanked God for this beautiful day with my Mom. What a Gift! The only word my Mom spoke as we sat was “beautiful”. The one word I’d choose that best describes our blessed day, is “priceless”. Love you Mom!
Thank you, Loretta, for taking the day to be with blessed Doris, for sharing with us your mother-daughter pilgrimage (what better word can there be!) to a retreat center and affording us, through your pictures, a vision (another good word!) of your experience, and for your closing words, which, for me, are gloriously descriptive of the best of moments in this life: “I silently thanked God for this beautiful day with my Mom. What a Gift! The only word my Mom spoke as we sat was ‘beautiful’. The one word I’d choose that best describes our blessed day, is ‘priceless’. Love you Mom!” THANK you, thank YOU!
Thanks Paul!! It was an awesome day! Mom’s neurologist was surprised that Mom no longer remembers me yet she goes with me without any protest. She says i have a kind soul which keeps my Mom calm and willing to follow my lead. There were so many little things that happened which just seemed like Divine Intervention which I’ll never forget. Like the clouds parting just as we arrived to the retreat center, allowing the sun to light up the countryside! Amazing!! Paul I Thank you for your words! I truly treasure them as well as your perspective!