Advent 3: Silence
Time with mom is spent mostly in silence since Alzheimer's stole her ability to verbally communicate last year. Because the usual methods of communication no longer worked, I learned to interact with mom in a way that resonated with her inner being – her soul. There was nothing more we could say or do, we simply sat together in silence.
This morning while thinking about Advent I realized that within this new normal, mom and I found a unique gift.
Jesus spoke about communicating with God from this inner space. When asked how we should pray, Jesus invited the listeners to go off alone and not to prattle on. Why would Jesus answer the question like that? Is there a connection between being alone in silence and deeper intimacy with God?
My mom’s focus is limited now, and distractions must be eliminated if she is to respond. I had to let go of expecting her to understand or reply. I had to become OK with her silence, something God asked me to be with him as well – be OK with his silence.
Although I’m not sure if I am OK with it yet.
But as we’ve taken one day at a time, mom and I discovered the grace we need to embrace the silence together and in turn, experienced the supernatural gift of presence together. Our relationship moved into a sacred place of being; we can now just be together: no pretenses, no fear, no worries of unworthiness or shame… no separation. Mom and I are just "be-ing" together.
Yes, Jesus knows that, eventually, every meaningful relationship transitions into the silence of "be-ing" together.
My mom continues to teach me even from the depths of Alzheimer’s.