Advent 4: Light is to be Shared
For the longest time, a Himalayan salt lamp sat in my mom’s bedroom. I bought the night light during one of our last outings together, which was a visit to the Sherlock Holmes exhibit at the Perot Museum. It was my mom’s 75th birthday.
On a cold, rainy day, I helped mom into the car, and we drove to Dallas. I parked the car as the rain poured down like Niagara Falls. We were going to get wet - really wet. Holding mom's hand, we ran like mad banshees toward the museum. Thankfully, we didn't look too much like drowned rats.
Inside the exhibit, we wandered through crowded scenes of impossible clues and evidence. I noticed much of the material was beyond mom’s grasp to understand. But we enjoyed ourselves by watching giggling school kids, collecting clues to the mystery, and laughing the whole way. Although, we never did figure out who murdered who.
On our way out, we went into the gift shop. I wanted to buy mom a birthday gift, but I hoped she would show me what that gift would be. Mom wandered around the shop with me in tow, just like when I was a little girl. She looked at everything. I observed mom, waiting patiently to see a sparkle in her eyes.
Advent, the coming of Light which is shared with all.
Coming around the corner of the last aisle, mom stopped. In front of her was an array of Himalayan salt lamps in different sizes and shapes. Mesmerized, she picked up a tiny beacon and stared into the soft pink glow. Her eyes sparkled.
In her hands, mom held her gift, and it was the gift of light.
With a big “Happy Birthday,” I bought that warm, pink lamp. We took the night light home and placed it in a prominent place in her bedroom. Mom would always have soothing light as long as she needed it.
Last January, the nurse told us mom would not live through the weekend. (Our family still laughs that she is with us almost eleven months later – but that’s another story.) The staff moved her into a new room that didn’t have a place for her little companion. So I brought the salt lamp back home where its pink glow lights the room where I write these words.
My mom needed the comfort of light in the early days of Alzheimer’s. But now, the light has moved inside her to a place I cannot see, leaving her lamp’s glow to comfort me. Light is to be shared.