This morning, I awoke to the sound of activity in the house – distant laughter amongst the guests who were staying for an indefinite time. The birds were chirping happily outside in the luscious garden that was adorned with deep green grass and colourful flower borders.
As I arose, I marvelled at how lovely it was to have a bedroom on the ground floor. My mum came in through the patio doors, holding an empty washing basket. It was so nice of her to have seen to all the household laundry.
She greeted me with a big smile and an energetic ‘good morning’. I never questioned why she had used my bedroom as her route to the garden – I was just so pleased to see her. As I walked past, she squeezed my arm. Two brilliantly white doors with gleaming silver handles invited me to step across the threshold into the serene atmosphere ahead.
I stepped out onto the veranda and was overwhelmed by the burst of heat that hit me as my body came into direct contact with the blazing sun. I can’t begin to describe how wonderful it felt. What a morning!
Through the gleaming dazzle, I gazed up at a pretty cherry blossom tree to my right and I closed my eyes for a few seconds. Tilting my head back and inhaling deeply, I once again basked in the heavenly warmth that caressed my bare arms.
It was only 6 am, but my mum had already put the washing out to dry. Garments were blowing gently back and forth, although I could feel no breeze.
“Wow! What time did Mum get up?” I wondered. “She’s been extremely organised! How could she have so effortlessly awoken, gathered the dirty clothes, placed them into the washing machine, taken them out later and hung them on the line before dawn? This is England! Where’s the heavy dew? Why is she not tucked up in bed?”
The aroma of crispy bacon wafted through the air, beckoning me to join the others for breakfast.
I wandered back inside and popped into another bedroom. This one has a balcony overlooking magnificent Yorkshire hills. Across the yellow sky, I could see cottages in the distance and the silhouette of other early risers having their breakfast on the far side of our balcony.
My mum arrived looking fresh and calm and she greeted me with another big smile.
As I stared at her, I marvelled at how lucky I was to be here in this home with an amazing mum and a wonderful ambience of joy and sunshine.
But she’s got Parkinson’s Disease.
She is housebound.
She’s not managed to make it to church for 5 years.
A grating noise began to ring in my ear – the familiar sound of my phone beckoning me to wake up.
Yes, if you had not guessed already, I had been dreaming – fast asleep in my land of perfection.
On this cold, dark day nearing the month of July, I pulled the duvet over my shoulders and twitched the curtains to look outside.
As usual, England in the summer looked like winter in the forest as rain dripped of every leaf, twig and sill.
I thought about my mother who is many miles away, lonely and whose face is not able to show much joy, as she bears the late stages of Parkinson’s Disease. This renders her with many dizzy spells per day. She can hardly make her bed and struggles to lift her hand up to brush her hair.
One day she will be free to arise with the sun and potter around blissfully like in that beautiful dream.
There’s nothing more joyful than the thought of being in the presence of God, worshipping Jesus and seeing our loved ones, fit and healthy with smiles on their faces that will never fade.
I hope to see you there too.