Young at Heart
Sep 27, 2020 | by Nancy Newbrough
Three years after my dad passed on to be with the Lord, my wife and I had the opportunity to have “the talk” with my mom. This was prior to her 90th birthday and occurred in Big Spring, Texas, where she had lived most of her life. Our purpose was to discuss her well-being and ask if she had thought about the next five years. Since we are her only family and live approximately 500 miles away, we felt it was time to hear her thoughts about this last “chapter” of her life.
At that time, Mom was enjoying a very robust and active life with church friends, some she had known for over 60 years. My mom is a woman of strong Christian faith and a determined, committed prayer warrior. She said her desire was to remain right there in her apartment and continue to enjoy the activities and schedules already so much a part of her life.
Everything was fine for two years. But then in March of this year, the Coronavirus pandemic struck and brought with it many unanticipated changes and challenges. For a very social lady like my mom, the worst was the enforced isolation and cessation of daily activities with her friends -- the unescapable aloneness!
In April, we brought Mom to stay with us to “ride out” the isolation of the times. She was glad to no longer be alone in her apartment, but still grieving the loss of her treasured church activities and fellowshipping in person with friends. In our home Mom had access to electronics and was able to ZOOM with her Sunday School class and to watch her home church Sunday worship services via the internet. We closely observed all recommended protocols to insure her health and safety. Even though Mom was safe living with us, she sorely missed the interaction with others of her generation.
At her request, we began looking into senior living facilities where she could be independent, but within a community of others. This brought new challenges because COVID-19 had caused all kinds of new restrictions for these facilities, and there were financial constraints to be considered.
We spent many hours discussing pros and cons. For her to move permanently to Katy, either with us or independently in a senior community, meant moving away from a town where she had lived almost her entire married life and away from cherished friends and familiar church activities. Moving to Katy meant the challenge of developing new friends and routines. Prayers seeking God’s direction were many!
God answered! In a matter of just a few days, a senior facility in Katy contacted us about an affordable apartment opening that would be available for move-in as soon as the COVID-19 protocols would allow. Mom decided: “This is it!” Within a week, she was COVID-19 tested, negative results obtained, and her belongings moved completely from her home in Big Spring and into her new residence in Katy.
She had to stay isolated for an additional four days until a second COVID test negative was received. This was difficult because we could not personally visit with her, and she owns no internet devices. This means she lost the ability to see her home Sunday School class and worship service.
But Mom was able to find televised services that she enjoys, and her facility has begun allowing visitors (with all COVID protocols in place). Not only that, she can join the other residents for a Sunday service with a visiting pastor and worship leader. There is also a Tuesday Bible study with a visiting church deacon providing the teaching. My outgoing mother has met many new friends, shared many stories, and plays Bridge two times a week (at age 92, she is the youngest at the table)!
God is so good! Mom has truly made Katy her new home. Praise the LORD that we can now visit with her much more frequently. We thank Him for her being so “with it” in her 9th decade, for her strength, and for her legacy of Christian faith!
This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
1 John 5:14