Thursday, August 3, 2017

Billy Hill here - Waiting to Die

Don't panic, this is not a Bible lesson, Billy Hill certainly is not qualified to present one of those.

But check this out, Billy Hill is struggling with something (no, not a ponytailed moron in a parking lot).  You see, Billy Hill's mom is living in a nursing home, actually an Alzheimer's facility, and at this very moment is sitting at a table with 4 other ladies, all of which do not really know where they are and how much longer they will actually be able to hold the spoon in their hand and feed themselves.

The residents there all long for love and affection, which is evident as you walk through the lobby because it feels like a scene from the walking dead sans the sword toting Michonne, as they all stand there or move slowly towards you with out stretched arms.  And Billy Hill does not mean to be rude with that statement but that is the best way to describe it.  These people, from all outward appearances seem to be the walking dead.  Billy Hill's mom seems to recognize him but cannot remember his name, if he has kids, what he does, where he lives or even very intimate details about their life together.  And Billy Hill thinks, what the hell God?

Does God put people on the back burner?

Okay, don't get frightened by the scripture references, I said this is not a Bible lesson.

Psalm 139:16 All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be
Job 14:5-7 A man's days are numbered.  You know the number of his months.  He cannot live longer than the time You have set.  

Alrighty then, Billy Hill says again, what the hell God?  Why?  He wonders why his mom is still here.  This is no life for her.  He does not like her living in that place that smells of urine, has bland food and where his precious mom is subject to being taken care of by strangers that are human just like Billy Hill.  You see, they have bad days, they have arguments at home, they experience road rage and at times they probably get tired of wiping people's butts, cleaning up urine, cleaning a toilet with crap and pee all over the seat, and they may just have a tendency to take their frustrations out on residents in one way or another.  It is human nature unfortunately.

Billy wanted to move his mom to his home but, family and friends said no, not out of meanness but out of concern.  You see, it is believed that each time an Alzheimer's patient moves they get worse.  But Billy Hill thinks "worse, so freaking what?"  Is it not better to have your child supervise your care rather than strangers?  But nonetheless, like so many others, Billy Hill and his siblings do not have the resources to really care for their mom in their home.

And so, she sits there, waiting to die, getting visits from her family and friends and she just sits there in their presence, not able to speak actual thoughts but, apparently she has some from time to time that she tries to get out.

And again, Billy Hill says what the hell God?  Why?

Recently, Billy Hill took his guitar to his mom's place and set up in the lobby.  The residents poured in and Billy Hill stood there for an hour and a half playing every hymn he could think of.  As Billy Hill played the hymns and they all sang along as best they could, or just sat there and smiled, he basked in the beauty of the moment.  It was quite worshipful and sacred.  So, Billy Hill paused and said "you know what, I don't think God puts people on a back burner and just waits for them to die.  I think that when He is done with you, when He has accomplished all that He wants from you, if you are His, He brings you home".  Billy Hill really believes this.  Like Job said, He has set the time for you to live and surly He knew these folks would have dementia or Alzheimer's for a portion of those days.  And so, Billy Hill said "I don't know why you are still here, but don't think for a moment that it is because God has put you on the back burner and forgotten about you.  Because at a minimum, I know He has totally enjoyed hearing you sing today".

So, Billy Hill continues to take the 5.5 hour one way trudge to Tennessee to see his mom whenever he can.  Why is she still here?  Billy Hill does not know.  Maybe He is giving her a period of rest, maybe there is someone that needs to have the opportunity to love on her, maybe someone is harboring a resentment in their heart and He is giving them an opportunity to forgive my mom.  We most likely will never know on this side of eternity but Billy Hill stands by his position, she is not forgotten and not just sitting on the back burner.

Incidentally, the picture here has Billy Hill's mom cookware sitting on the stove top.  Very expensive stainless steel Chef's Ware by Towncraft cookware that his mother purchased years ago upon learning that her aluminum cookware could promote an onset of Alzheimer's.  The plates in the cabinet above, mom's Blue Onion china that Billy Hill narrowly rescued from being sent to Goodwill by the late great Colonel.

Billy Hill Here, I like it neat.