Monday, July 16, 2007

What is life's meaning anyway?

It is difficult enough to accept my mother's mental deterioration, to try to deal with what can only be described as short curcuits in her ability to think and put a few short sentences together. It can only be worse for my sister as she cares for my mother and tries to balance medications, so Mother can think a while longer and not have potentially dangerous physical side effects from the medications. Why is it that some people live life with zest even until their late 90s and others are doomed to simply exist?

I was just on the phone with my sister when she told me a friend of our mother's had been living more or less as a vegetable in a nursing home for more than 15 years. Tell me, what purpose does God have for allowing someone live essentially without a functioning brain....for FIFTEEN years? Obviously the woman is getting good care, but would anyone ever choose to not live, EXIST this way? Have our medical advances only served to doom us to mere existence? No one seems to bat an eye when it comes to not going to heroic measures to "save" babies who are born with nothing but a brain stem. Why do we insist on prolonging the lives of people who no longer have anything resembling normal brain function?

I'm not interested in reopening debate about the Terri Shievo case, so please do NOT go there.


SolaMeanie said...

One book I found really helpful is the one by the late Dale Evans Rogers called "Angel Unaware." It chronicles the life and death of their little girl who had Downs' Syndrome or something like it. They were asking similar questions about why their daughter had to go through such tragedy, but then God led them to some surprising answers.

I know it's difficult. I am living in my own interesting situation. But I know that what God is teaching me through this will yield fruit for His glory in the end.

Wert.the.Wolf said...

I can relate...*hugs* I know the single worst thing in life is watching someone you love be so degraded that they have to have someone do everything for them. *hugs* I'll keep you in my prayers, Cr. We have the same situation with my great grandma, and it's just about killing my grandma, she's basically in denial about the entire thing. It was the same way with my other grandma, too. She was completely out of it that last week. She didn't know where she was, who we were...she threatened to pull a knife on us...she called for my mom and thought that she was her're not alone. *hugs* I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers, I know this is hard.

crownring said...

As I sit here, I am contemplating the next phone call I make to talk to my mom, probably within a half hour or so. It's best to make "the call" in the early afternoon, when she is awake and the morning frenzy has passed. What will we discuss? Whatever her hearing and brain function allows, I suppose.

Sola and Wert, thank you. Thank you for words that didn't make me feel even worse than I already did and for your attempts to give me comfort and solace. Thank you for reminding me I'm not alone in trying to deal with the sufferings of an aging loved one. That in itself was more comfort than you can imagine.

Of course, part of my howl of frustration and grief comes from fear. As I watch my mother physically and mentally deteriorate, I suppose it is natural for me to find myself begging God that I "not go out that way" too. If I have a choice, I tell myself, I want to go out as a warrior. Not that I'm keen on being a martyr, mind you, but simply fighting the good fight until the end, not as an old woman worrying whether she'll make it to the bathroom in time or mistaking her sibling for a long dead relative. Truth be told, though, the incredible courage of the godly women in the Bible simply floors me and I don't feel fit to even stand in their presence.

More later, perhaps.