we’re not ready yet….
So we took the family truckster to Virginia to The Beautiful Bride’s Granny’s funeral. The Beautiful Bride sang (beautifully.)
In the midst of the lovely funeral, the preacher (who happened to be The Beautiful Bride’s father) talked about a number of happenings in Granny’s life. Many of which none of us had ever heard before.
The most touching, by far, were the stories about Granny and her husband James. They were children of the depression, worked hard to feed four children, and loved their family and their church.
James died as a result of complications from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Both are challenging, brutal foes; but when they come together as a team they are ferocious enough to tackle a man even as as strong and sturdy as James Edwards.
In the early stages of the Alzheimer’s, Granny and James lived in the small house, on a tree-lined street built on the side of a Virginia hill. As Alzheimer’s began to stake it’s claim on the railroad retiree, family members took steps to help keep him safe. Included in those things were the installation of some extra locks, high up on the doors.
One winter night, when the Alzheimer’s army was stirring in his head, James was able to unlock the door, bypass the extra locks and stumbled out in the frigid dark. He wandered down the street, around the corner, ended up battered, bruised, bloodied, and broken near his beloved Bethel Baptist Church.
After that unsettling event, family members began to rightly explore other options for his care and well-being. They contacted a local care facility and were told that there were no openings at the moment, but they would be contacted as soon as a spot was available.
A couple of months passed, and still now call. So they called the facility to check on a spot and were told "oh yes, we’ve had spots. We called your mother (Granny) and told her several times. But each time we called she said, ‘we’re not ready yet.’"
When I heard that Granny had said ‘we’re not ready yet’ about her beloved James going to live somewhere else, it just encapsulated what love, what marriage, what commitment can be. Even though it would have most likely been easier for her, to have him be cared for by others, Granny was not to that point, and that her response was very clear ‘we’re not ready yet,’ The unspoken thought was ‘we are in this together…We have battled through a thousand other things together and we will go through this together.’ Even in the midst of hardship, and heartbreak, and helplessness, the response was "we." It is not he, nor I, but rather we.
I pray that Granny’s response is what my response will always be. That it will always be "we."
Marriage is a we business. Too often our society wants to look for the "what’s in it for me?" or "this is a lot harder than I thought it would be" or "we are just going different ways in our life."