Part 6: The Locked Room
A friend of mine had an elderly mother who lived in a nursing home. One day, my friend showed me the screen on her cell phone listing over 20 unanswered calls from her mother in a single day.
“How can I work with all of these interruptions?” she said. My friend wanted me to know how beleaguered she was by her mother’s incessant calling. But I saw only one thing.
“She must be so lonely for you.”
It’s difficult sometimes for us to understand what someone who is 20, 30 or 40 years older than us is going through. Perhaps it’s best to put it into a relatable perspective. Imagine if right now, someone took you to a room and locked the door. Someone will bring you meals, but you no longer get to work, or go places, or visit people. Gone are vacations, sensual pleasures, independence, and freedom. You must wait for people in the outside world to call you, visit you, remember you. Perhaps you had a life of accomplishment, but now you are a prisoner in a locked room. That’s what it feels like to be an elderly person in need of care.
Don’t wait for your parents to reach out to you and say, “I miss you” or “I’m lonely.” They will use messages that let them disguise their needs, like, “The sink is stopped up again,” or “I can’t find my remote.” Learn to read the cry behind the words.
And pick up the phone.
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.”(Ecclesiastes 12:1)
You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. (Ecclesiastes 11:9)
"I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’” (Matthew 25:36)