of the mercies of the Lord

It’s her favorite song.

For as long as I can remember, and I’m thinking for as long as my dad can remember too.

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever – 

I will sing, I will sing….

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever,

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord.

With my mouth, will I make known  

Thy faithfulness, thy faithfulness

With my mouth, will I make known, 

Thy faithfulness to all generations!

She was wearing green, fuzzy socks. The ones that keep warm the feet that do not walk anymore. The ones that Miss E declared as “pitty socks!”, while running her tiny hand over those old, grandma feet…

She stared at me, and I didn’t know if she knew who I was, those bright and snapping brown eyes, the ones like my own. I thought surely there was a sparkle of recognition, and I leaned down and tried to hold that sweet, clenched hand. Her arms and hands moved involuntarily, all over.  Her eyes wouldn’t stop looking up and around, over the ceiling, across my tribe of sober and not-sure children, who only get a chance to see her once a year.

My youngest wanted to hold her hand, and did so as we sang..

Blonde ringlets framed the sweet 2 year old lips that leaned in to kiss this old cheek that contorted and constantly moved around.

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord, forever…..

Oh, Parkinson’s.  This disease has ravaged her body and mind, and yet…..

and yet.

We began to sing and her voice began to hum the tune of this favorite of hers. We sang Jesus Loves Me, and when we got done, she immediately said: “Oh, that was pretty.”

I will sing.. I will sing…

We sang again our current family favorite – “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and she began to sing the words with us.  It was so beautiful. My sweet grandma’s old voice blended in a harmony that was better than perfectly in tune with my slightly off-key 2 and 4 year old little girls, and  9 and 11 year old boy-voices. We took a few pictures, and sometimes she would focus back in on me, and I told her that it surely wouldn’t be long before she was able to be with Jesus, and walk around without her wheelchair and be able to run and dance and sing and talk with abandon.

With my mouth, will I make known, The faithfulness….

She hummed about His faithfulness to her even as she wasn’t able to get the words out.

To all generations.

Tonight I laid on the floor between my two girlies and the questions began to flow.

“Mommy, will grandma Mildred die? Will she go see Jesus?

And the pretty angels?

Mommy? Does grandma have an ouchy body?

Why will she die?

How will she get up to heaven?

I answered as best I knew how, thinking to myself about singing about His faithfulness to all generations as I spoke truth-words to the next one down. These girls are three generations from a Parkinson’s ridden woman who has endured hard, hard things.  A grievous and untimely death of a husband.  The loss of a daughter in law to cancer.  The death of a second husband.  The slow and agonizing death of a functioning, healthy, hard-working body into paralyzed muscles, shaking hands, and the inability to speak coherent sentences.

And what she has left is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.

She has so much left.

She sings, in as strong of a voice as she can muster of the faithfulness of her Father to every generation.  Of His mercy.  She sings in her geriatric chair while suffering the indignities of aging that she will sing.

She will sing, yes she will.


Of His mercy.


4 thoughts on “of the mercies of the Lord

  1. My Grammy had Parkinson’s too. We were visiting one day and her lunch came. We all bowed our heads for a blessing, and my Grammy, who could not speak to us, spoke her thanks clearly and coherently to her heavenly Father. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.


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