"She's Still the Same Girl"
My Mom is entering the winter of her life. Some days she struggles to remember names and is confused about many things. Some days she's more like her old self. Lately as I watch her confusion growing, I am reminded of a song I heard many years ago, "She's Still the Same Girl." The jist of the song is that even though the woman in it is aging, inside she is still the young bride, the young mother, the one who laughed and danced and lived a full life.
My mother married young at age 19 and had her first baby 11 months later. Her friends could always tell when another baby was on the way because she would start painting rooms in her home. Four more children followed that first baby and for 10 years her life was full of ironing little dresses, helping her husband manage the family farm, gardening, keeping little ones out of trouble, and tending to her home. Five children seemed like enough.
Then at age 37 she was surprised by motherhood again. I was born less than a month after she turned 38. She has been many things to me - my mother, my teacher, my advocate, and my protector. As I became an adult, she became my friend. I remember day long shopping trips and sitting at the kitchen table late at night, laughing so hard the milk spewed from her mouth across the table. I also remember the times she nearly choked on a pill she had to take and my father had to perform the Heimlech maneuver and realizing how quickly she could be gone and how precious she was.
Sometimes these days she seems so different that it is hard to remember what was . . . yet underneath the confusion and forgetfulness she is still the same girl. She's the same girl who raised 6 children to adulthood. She's the same girl who loves her husband to this day, while he's in Heaven. She's the same girl who made special desserts with her sister-in-law, who planned family vacations, who taught young girls in Pioneer Girls and her Sunday School class. She's the same girl who welcomed others into her home with graciousness and warmth. She's the same girl who sewed for her children, husband, and home. She's the same girl who loves Jesus and wants others to love Him too.
One phrase in the song says, "and she needs you so . . . " Yes, as the forgetfulness and confusion take over her mind, she needs her family to remember who she is and to love her just the same . . . or perhaps even more.