This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.—John 15:12 (ESV)
Walking Each Other Home
Go forth from your . . . land and from your . . . house to the land that I will show you.—EXODUS 12:1 [JPS]
Mom and I were getting ready for bed. Dad was away at a conference.
“I need to go home,” Mom said suddenly.
“This is your home, Mom,” I replied, knowing it was her Alzheimer’s talking.
“My home is identical to this, but this one is not mine,” she said, standing in the middle of her living room.
She was getting agitated. I showed her the family photos and her name on the door. She rebuffed my explanations and angrily demanded I take her home.
It was dark outside. Could I lock the door and walk to another room until she calmed down? Should we leave the apartment? What would happen if I took her outside? I was terrified of her running from me or refusing to return with me, of losing leverage to change the situation.
I decided to chance it. “Okay, Mom,” I said, “let’s put our shoes on.”
We set out into the night. We left from the front door of the apartment and headed down the street, arm in arm, singing as we went. We turned the corner and continued walking around the block. We approached the building from the back entrance.
“Here’s your building,” I told her. “Let’s go up the elevator to your apartment. Here’s your door with your name on it.”
Mom walked in, appeased. And I trembled with relief.
“Thank you for bringing me home,” she said.
Dear God, help me find the right path as my loved one and I travel together.
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