This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.—John 15:12 (ESV)
He loved Rachel more than Leah.—Genesis 29:30 (JPS)
“Hey, Mom,” I said, using my best conciliatory voice, “you know, we just ate breakfast. Are you sure you’re hungry for a sandwich?”
“I haven’t eaten yet,” Mom retorted. She was sitting at the table smearing her bread with peanut butter. Our breakfast dishes were still in the sink.
“Look,” I said, “those are our dishes. We had cereal and toast for breakfast half an hour ago.”
“Those aren’t my dishes,” insisted Mom.
“Let’s ask Daddy,” I suggested. “He’ll know.”
Alzheimer’s patients become extremely attached to their caregivers, and Daddy was Mom’s primary caregiver. She was susceptible to his moods and words, and often what he said was law. It made me second best. “Daddy,” I called, “did we just eat breakfast?”
When he answered, “Yes,” Mom allowed me to help her put the sandwich things away. She was willing to believe his word over mine and that was okay.
Later, as I tucked her into bed for her afternoon nap, Mom drowsily looked up at me. “How long have I known you?” she asked.
“Oh, I’ve known you from the first kiss you gave me when I was born,” I said.
Mom kissed my forehead. In that instance, I didn’t feel second best.
Please, God, strengthen my resolve to love even when that love cannot always be returned.
Share this story