It’s my mom’s favorite question.
She asks it during the middle-of-the-night wake-ups, first thing in the morning, and several times throughout the daily routine.
It takes me back to summer days long ago.
Every morning starting the very first day of summer vacation, my sisters and I would sit on the red upholstered kitchen chairs around the shiny silver Formica table with the aluminum edging. Mom would help us make a list. Our plan for the day.
It always included work responsibilities. Things like shell the peas, mow the lawn, clean the junk drawer, wash the slab. I got tired just making the list and wondered why we had to have a plan and why the slab had to even be hosed down because the big red 2-ton truck was just going to get it muddy again anyway.
There was always a plan.
I don’t mind answering her favorite question these days. What she’s really asking is when I’m leaving for appointments and if one of my sisters is coming to stay.
But these short conversations are taking me to a different place lately.
What’s the plan?
Staying with mom and providing reminders, short-term memory joggers, companionship, and being a jigsaw puzzle partner is a new role. Julie and Lori and I are trying to figure it out.
We’re each creating a new normal for our lives as we take turns using the card table in the extra bedroom as a second home office, joining her for walks, and sleeping in the trundle bed at night.
We love our mom.
But what’s the plan?
This is a new chapter in life and I didn’t see the story going in this direction. Who does? When you’re a little girl sitting on the kitchen floor with the blue bowl tucked in your lap to capture the shelled peas, you don’t imagine that one day your mom may need some extra attention and caring.
How do we do this? What happens next? What happens if mom’s physical health gets weak?
And then I remember.
There is a plan.
There always is.
God has it.
This I didn’t see it coming story-changer isn’t a surprise to God. He’s not all confused by it, wringing his hands and worrying about what this means for us. He’s not trying to figure out what to do next.
This is his plan.
And because I know that He is smack-dab in the middle of this chapter with us, I trust the story.
Even if I don’t know the plan.
Today we’re celebrating mom’s 87th year of life.
A good life. A rich life.
A faith-filled life.
A life with more years to be lived.
We’re not shelling peas or weeding the garden or cleaning cupboards or washing the slab.
We’re listening to and telling stories from long ago, helping make oatmeal, watching a Charles Stanley sermon, laughing a lot, going on a drive, making sure pills are taken and lunch is eaten, and figuring out the crosswords…
…And answering the question, What’s the plan?
We’re working it out, Mom.
One day at a time…grateful, so grateful, for these moments.